Ross Barkley blooming at Villa
Barkley, formerly of Everton, scored against the Toffees’ arch-rivals Liverpool during his side’s emphatic 7-2 victory earlier this month and netted their late winner against Leicester City on Sunday.
Should Villa sign Ross Barkley permanently?
Despite this, the £19.35m-rated midfielder struggled for game-time in London, having only made 13 starts for Frank Lampard’s side, which played a huge part in his decision to move north to the Midlands.
Hutton has been impressed with what he has seen from Barkley so far and believes that Dean Smith is the right man to get the best out of him.
“I think there’s no one better to give him the confidence that he needs than Dean Smith”, he told Football Insider.
“He’ll have him around, saying: ‘Come here, you’ll play week in, week out, do your thing on the pitch and express yourself.’
“That’s what a player like that needs, a forward-thinking player, he’s not scared to give the ball away or try things, he’s not going to get shouted at, he’s just been told to go and play and enjoy your football.
“We can see that already after a couple of games. We can see the impact and effect that he’s got, even on others round about him, he’s bringing the best out of others as well.
“We all know he’s a great talent, he came through at Everton and moved to Chelsea – that doesn’t happen to an average player, he’s a very good player.”
Hutton added that Smith has given Barkley the freedom to play and feels that the midfielder is taking full advantage of the manager’s instructions, which is benefitting his side and his own development.
Key piece to Villa’s puzzle
Barkley is starting to bloom into the player that he should have been at Everton all those years ago, which should understandably delight the Villa Park faithful.
Despite the 26-year-old not getting the minutes that he may have wanted at Chelsea, Lampard described him as “first-class”, which is a possible indication that he may still have a future at Stamford Bridge.
Smith will likely be delighted with the role that Barkley has played in their 100% start to the new Premier League campaign.
It is important that Smith doesn’t let Barkley’s head drop and maintains his focus right up to the Christmas period. After narrowly avoiding relegation at the end of the last term, the Villans can’t afford to get ahead of themselves despite their current good form.
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