Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley is a player Leeds United are targeting in the January transfer window, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.
The Lowdown: Barkley a Chelsea outcast
The 28-year-old has struggled for playing time at Stamford Bridge this season, starting just one Premier League game and finding himself way down the midfield pecking order.
Barkley may still have aspirations of making England’s 2022 World Cup squad, in order to add to his 33 caps, but will of course may need to play more for that to happen.
The former Everton man has been linked with a January loan move to Leeds in recent days, as Marcelo Bielsa eyes up reinforcements in the middle of the park.
The Latest: Journalist confirms Leeds’ interest
Speaking to Give Me Sport, O’Rourke confirmed Barkley is indeed on Leeds’ list of potential signings, talking up the idea of the move happening:
“I believe he is on their list of targets. Leeds have had a slow start to this season by their standards from last season and are sitting at the wrong end of the table.”
The Verdict: Exciting midfield option
Barkley hasn’t fulfilled his huge promise as a youngster, having been compared to Liverpool and England legend Steven Gerrard, but he remains a talented footballer who could be a good addition at Leeds.
Former Aston Villa manager Dean Smith described him as ‘tremendous’ during his loan spell at Villa Park last season.
Barkley would offer something different to more defence-minded figures such as Kalvin Phillips and Adam Forshaw, scoring and assisting eight times apiece for Everton back in 2015/16.
Granted, he hasn’t been as prolific since then, but his ability to create chances – he has averaged 2.5 key passes per game in the Carabao Cup this season – coupled with Bielsa hopefully improving him and re-finding that confidence in the final third, means he is worth the risk on loan.
In other news, Phil Hay has provided a Leeds injury update. Read more here.
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience