Ross Barkley - Chelsea star
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 01: Ross Barkley of Chelsea during the Pre Season Friendly between Arsenal and Chelsea at Emirates Stadium on August 1, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images) The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency: Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/) Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

During an interview with Football Insider, Alex McLeish has backed Leeds United to sign Ross Barkley. The former professional believes that the Whites could use some attacking spark upfront and the Chelsea midfielder fits the bill well.

Barkley’s got the experience and also the confidence to help other players in the team. He’s never really made himself a permanent fixture. Could he do that at Leeds? They certainly could be doing with a wee spark.”, McLeish told Football Insider.

Ross Barkley: A Player In Decline

Once regarded as one of the brightest prospects in English football, Ross Barkley has endured a difficult spell at Chelsea since his move in 2018. The midfielder has failed to establish himself as a first-choice regular at the club, mustering a total of just over 2,000 minutes of league football during his first two seasons at the club.

Barkley was then eventually shipped to Aston Villa on loan. The playmaker did have a promising start to his career at Villa Park, but the former Evertonian eventually slipped down the pecking order, before returning to Stamford Bridge in the summer.

The past couple of years have certainly been rough for the Englishman. He has lacked consistency in his performances and hasn’t quite suited to Chelsea’s style of play. But more importantly, he hasn’t had enough opportunities to prove himself, especially under Thomas Tuchel this season.

Nevertheless, Barkley is still regarded highly due to his vast experience in English football. He has featured in over 220 Premier League games during his career while the 27-year-old is also known for his ability to create chances and offer productivity in the final third.

Ross Barkley - Leeds United target
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – MAY 01: Ross Barkley of Aston Villa looks on during the Premier League match between Everton and Aston Villa at Goodison Park on May 01, 2021 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
The 4th Official uses images provided by the following image agency:
Getty Images (https://www.gettyimages.de/)
Imago Images (https://www.imago-images.de/)

Is He A Good Option For Leeds United?

Ross Barkley’s potential arrival at Leeds United will be an interesting move for all parties involved. It could be a logical transfer as well, given the fact that the Whites do require some additional depth in the attacking midfield slot.

After all, the Yorkshire giants had to let go of Pablo Hernandez in the summer while Stuart Dallas and Mateusz Klich have both failed to replicate last season’s performances so far. It has led to a lack of productivity in the final third and that is where someone like Barkley could be useful.

The Chelsea midfielder has the pedigree of performing at the highest level of football and can help Leeds re-invent themselves, in terms of their attacking play. In addition to his technical prowess and productivity, the Englishman should be an ideal fit for Marcelo Bielsa’s tactical setup as well, as it requires directness and work ethic in the final third.

Moreover, Barkley is unlikely to cost a fortune, knowing Chelsea will be keen on offloading the midfielder in the upcoming January transfer window. As such, the former Evertonian could indeed be a bargain for the Whites.

Jack O’Brien

A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.