Jamie Redknapp said on-loan Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley has not done enough to “showcase” his quality at Aston Villa.
The 27-year-old had an impressive start to his season-long loan spell at Villa, scoring in his opening two matches in wins over Liverpool and Leicester City.
He also made an assist in Villa’s win over Arsenal in November, before picking up a hamstring injury in the following game against Brighton.
It took Barkley two months before making his return in January and has been still struggling to rediscover his best form since.
Villa boss Dean Smith has even named the former Everton man on the bench in the last three league matches despite the absence of their main creator Jack Grealish.
According to Redknapp, this is a worrying sign for Barkley who might lose his chance to return to Chelsea if the situation continues.
“The fact that Grealish isn’t playing and he [Barkley] is not still playing, it’s a worry for him,” Redknapp told Sky Sports (via Birmingham Mail).
“He’s got ability but when you go out on loan to a club it’s a big opportunity to show what you got.
“Showcase, this is what Chelsea will be missing.
“He’s obviously not doing enough. Now, he’s sitting on the bench and he’s waiting for his chance.”
At the moment, Thomas Tuchel clearly has plenty of attacking midfield options at Chelsea.
Kai Havertz, Mason Mount, even now Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech are all competing for the two No.10 spots in the manager’s 3-4-3 system.
But regardless of whether Tuchel has a plan for Barkley next season or not, the midfielder’s poor form is still bad news for Chelsea.
Earlier in the season, Chelsea would expect to either have an in-form midfielder back from his loan spell or profit from an increase in Barkley’s value.
But now, unless Barkley improve his form, Chelsea might end up with a player who is not in the manager’s plan and a new addition to the list of players they will have to offload in the summer.