The Chelsea fans in the Transfer Tavern have been bitterly disappointed by Ross Barkley’s lack of first-team involvement since he joined the club in January and, as such, plenty of supporters are open to the prospect of selling him this summer.
Ross Barkley has had a hugely uninspiring opening to life at Stamford Bridge with just 3 appearances to his name in almost 5 months at the club. What exactly is going on behind the scenes remains unclear, but the early signs are far from promising for a player who was once tipped for huge success in English football.
At this stage in his career, it seems unlikely that Barkley will suddenly blossom into a top-four attacking midfielder without plenty of first-team opportunities, so Chelsea should consider offloading him this summer for the benefit of his career. The 24-year-old has struggled with a troublesome hamstring injury this season so it’s unfair to write him off just yet, but he will almost certainly need to take a step down in class in order to kick-start his stuttering career.
The fact Chelsea are also set to welcome Ruben Loftus-Cheek (valued at £7.2 million by Transfermarkt) back from his loan spell at Crystal Palace this summer is also a factor which needs to be taken into consideration, as the quality of his form with the Eagles suggests he is ready to be integrated into the first-team squad. The 22-year-old England international has shown promise in abundance at Palace this season with his creative guile and tenacious attitude in midfield.
On paper, Loftus-Cheek and Barkley are similar players; they both possess imposing physiques and are technically gifted midfielders, but on recent form it’s fair to say that the former appears to have a greater desire and determination to succeed in English football. The jury is still out on whether Barkley has the mentality to succeed in the Premier League, but Chelsea don’t have the time to wait for him to develop after their below-par season.
Chelsea will have some big decisions to make this summer with regards to personnel, some difficult and some more simple, and in Barkley’s case it should prove to be a fairly logical decision for Antonio Conte to offload him and put Loftus-Cheek in his place.
Chelsea fans – thoughts? Let us know below!