In a recent interview with Football Insider, ex-Scotland manager Alex McLeish backed Leeds United to land Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley on loan during the January transfer window. McLeish said,
“Ross has got great quality. Whenever you see him coming on the pitch you think: ‘Wow, that guy is so talented.
“It’s just about him getting regular football because there’s a bit of inconsistency about him.
“I would have thought a player like that could enhance Leeds, so yes, get it done.
“You should only take loan guys if they’re extremely shrewd business. You need to be targeting the right players.
“If there’s a player available for loan then you know his parent club are not playing him too often. That is problem number one.
“Problem number two is how do you get the quality loanee in and where are they? That’s where it comes down to the recruitment team.”
Barkley’s Limited Game Time At The English Capital This Season
Barkley has struggled to earn regular first-team starts under the tutelage of Thomas Tuchel during this campaign but has been a decent contributor off the bench. The Liverpool-born talent has featured in 11 matches for the Blues but is still waiting to open his goal-scoring account for this season.
The 28-year-old has seen most of game time come as a substitute but has performed well to average 1.2 shots, 1.4 key passes and 1.2 dribbles per game in the Premier League. He has even taken care of the ball when interchanging possession with his teammates from midfield, as evidenced by his pass success rate of 84.6% in the English top-flight (stats via whoscored).
What Will Barkley Bring To Leeds United?
Barkley is a tidy passer of the ball and can make some powerful runs with the ball from midfield. He has got the eye to play a decisive pass in the final third and can shoot the ball with venom and accuracy from long range.
A midfielder of Barkley’s skillset will be a decent addition to Marcelo Bielsa‘s squad if the Whites can find a way to sign him on loan this winter.
At 28, Barkley is currently at his prime and would bring some quality and dynamism to Leeds United‘s midfield department. Moreover, he could help the Yorkshire outfit retain their Premier League status for another season if he can steer clear of injuries in the early months of 2022.