Premier League • England

Ross Barkley signs for surprise new club after recent Chelsea exit, with midfielder set to link up with ex-Arsenal counterpart

Ross Barkley (pic via OGC Nice)

Ross Barkley has found a new club after leaving Chelsea, having headed abroad to be presented as a new OGC Nice player.

Barkley ended his association with Chelsea late last month, ripping up his contract to seek a fresh start elsewhere. The midfielder was rarely used by the Blues in recent years. Indeed, he played in just six Premier League matches last season.

In total, he made 100 appearances in all competitions for Chelsea between his January 2018 arrival and his August 2022 departure.

Chelsea struggled to find a buyer for the former Everton star, who spent time on loan with Aston Villa in the 2020-21 season. Therefore, they decided the best solution was to release him from his contract ahead of schedule.

In turn, Barkley has quickly been able to find a new home. On Sunday evening, at a match against Monaco, he has been presented at the Allianz Riviera as a new Nice player.

The Ligue 1 club have not confirmed the length of the contract Barkley has signed with them. However long it lasts, it will be his first experience of representing a foreign club.

Barkley will become a teammate of Wales international Aaron Ramsey. The ex-Arsenal star also joined Nice on a free transfer this summer after quitting Juventus.

Other familiar faces in the Nice squad are: ex-Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel; former Manchester United midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin; Mario Lemina, who was once of Southampton; and Arsenal loanee Nicolas Pepe.

Ross Barkley ready for fresh challenge in France

At the age of 28, Barkley will be hoping to be revitalised by the new challenge of playing in France. He will also get the chance to play in a UEFA competition; they have made it to the Europa Conference League group stage.

The midfielder was rumoured to have a few interested parties in the Premier League, or north of the border in Scotland with someone like Rangers. Instead, he has headed overseas to experience something completely new.

It could be a good decision, so he can move on with his career and put his recent struggles in his home country behind him.

A few more homegrown players seem to be choosing exit routes away from the Premier League. Barkley will be hoping his decision can be beneficial for him.

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