Saturday, October 1, 2022

Aston Villa Complete Deal For This Chelsea Midfielder On Loan: What Will He Add To Smith’s Side?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

Aston Villa have officially confirmed that they have completed the capture of Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley on a season-long loan deal. The Villans boss Dean Smith believes that the English midfielder will improve his team considerably for this new campaign.

Barkley’s Solid Yet Uneventful Spell At The English Capital

The Liverpool-born midfield ace has made a bright start to this season after scoring one goal in three matches for the Blues thus far across multiple competitions. Barkley even experienced a challenging yet productive campaign at Stamford Bridge in the last term when he registered five goals and five assists in 31 matches for Frank Lampard’s side on all fronts.

The ex-Everton talent missed a significant chunk of the previous campaign due to a foot injury. However, he did well to average 1.9 shots, 1.1 key passes and 1.3 dribbles per game in the 2019-20 Premier League season. The English playmaker even distributed possession accurately after making 89% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).

Barkley needs to play regularly in the English top-flight if he wants to raise his game to another level. Therefore, it is only logical for him to seal a loan move to Villa Park, which could help him establish himself as a top performer and come back as a better version of him next summer.

Aston Villa complete the capture of Barkley on loan (Barkley is seen in the picture)
Chelsea’s English midfielder Ross Barkley (L) celebrates scoring his team’s second goal with Chelsea’s Scottish midfielder Billy Gilmour during the English FA Cup fifth round football match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge in London on March 3, 2020. Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images)

What Will The England International Add To Dean Smith’s Team This Season?

Barkley is a deceptively quick midfielder who loves to play in the number ten position as it allows him to get himself involved more often in the final third. However, he has mostly been used as a box to box central midfielder at Stamford Bridge so far, which explains why his numbers have dropped in front of the opposition goal.

When playing with confidence, the 33-time England international can be a constant menace for the opposition as he can strike with a lot of power and precision from long range. He is also not shy of making some driving runs with the ball towards the opponent’s penalty box.

Barkley’s playing style is quite similar to how Jack Grealish operates for Villa and could add more goals and creativity to Dean Smith’s attack. However, it remains to be seen whether the Villans use him as a central midfielder or unleash him in a more advanced role as an attacking midfielder during this campaign.

Either way, Barkley will undoubtedly improve the quality of Aston Villa’s first-team and has got what it takes to help the West Midlands side retain their top-flight status for another season. With all things considered, Barkley’s addition could turn out to be a masterstroke by Smith if he can get the best out of him at Villa Park over the next 12 months.

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