€25m-rated Chelsea playmaker completes loan move to Aston Villa

Aston Villa have announced the signing of Ross Barkley from the London club on a season-long loan deal. Villa have experienced a wonderful start to the season, winning both of their PL matches so far and also their two Carabao Cup ties to date.

Dean Smith has described the recruitment of Ross for the campaign as a ‘real coup’ for the Villains, with the player a very experienced central midfield option for the West Midlands outfit to call on. This is undoubtedly a solid chance for Barkley, who has sealed a loan exit after slipping down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.

England international has come off the bench twice for Blues in the PL this campaign, while also playing and scoring in the Carabao Cup tie against Barnsley. The 26-year-old midfielder started 19 of his 31 games across all tournaments last campaign, contributing five goals and five assists for Chelsea.

It’s not surprising to see that a loan has been sanctioned, as Frank Lampard’s started to deploy a 4-2-2-2 formation this campaign, as opposed to the 4-3-3 that granted the use of another midfielder.

Even if Chelsea boss opts for a 4-2-3-1 formation, as he did against Tottenham and West Brom, Barkley would have to be play backup to marquee signing Kai Havertz, whose natural position is as a No.10.

The English playmaker was part of the Blues squad that exited the Carabao Cup on penalties at Spurs on Tuesday night, although he was not brought off the bench by Frank Lampard.

Villa have made a strong start to the campaign, winning all four of their games so far, and Ross’ arrival will boost a midfield that already boasts the talents of Jack Grealish, John McGinn and Conor Hourihane.