Chelsea’s Ross Barkley could ‘reignite his career’ with a move to Newcastle United, Noel Whelan says.
The former Leeds United, Coventry City and Middlesbrough striker was speaking to Football Insider.
The Athletic’s Chris Waugh reported at the weekend that Newcastle held an interest in Barkley, and ‘not solely as a back-up’ option amid their pursuit of Joe Willock.
Barkley spent the 2020/21 season on loan at Aston Villa and got off to a strong start, scoring on his full debut against Liverpool and then netting a late winner away to Leicester City the following week.
Whelan says Barkley suffered from the injury-enforced absence of Jack Grealish last season but feels it it is now or never for the 27-year-old.
“His next move could be his last shot at a Premier League club,” he said. “It didn’t work out at Everton, Chelsea or Villa so if Newcastle give him an opportunity he has got to make it work.
“Does he want to be a squad player for the rest of his career? Newcastle could be the place where he re-ignites his career but he has to be ready to take his chance.
“He looked lost at Villa when Jack Grealish wan’t playing last season.”
Steve Bruce is working within a ‘meagre’ budget this summer, so if Newcastle want to build on their positive finish to last season and avoid being dragged into another relegation battle, they ought to take few risks on incomings.
They need known quantities like Willock, who was a perfect fit and performed week in week out.
Barkley showed promising early glimpses at Villa but Newcastle certainly couldn’t bank on sustained periods of good form based on what we’ve seen in recent years.
As a 33-times capped England international, he probably won’t be short of avenues to first-team football, but he shouldn’t be near the top of the Magpies’ shortlist.
In other news, Chris Waugh delivers the latest on Willock.
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