Gabriel Agbonlahor has named Newcastle United as the ideal club for Ross Barkley to join in order to rediscover his best form on a consistent basis.
Having been viewed as a highly-promising youngster, Barkley impressed after bursting onto the scene with Everton. He’d go on to make 179 appearances for the Toffees before making the switch to Chelsea in January 2018. However, things never quite worked out for him at Stamford Bridge.
In two-and-a-half years with the Blues, he made just 86 appearances, scoring 11 goals. He failed to convince any of Antonio Conte, Maurizio Sarri or Frank Lampard that he deserved a place in the team.
He was then loaned out to Aston Villa for the 2020/21 season. He scored in each of his first two appearances for Villa, raising some hope that he would flourish with Dean Smith’s side.
But he failed to maintain that form, adding just one more goal to his tally in the remainder of the campaign. As a result, Villa are unlikely to make his move permanent.
And with opportunities under Thomas Tuchel unlikely back at Chelsea, that leaves him in need of another new club.
West Ham are reportedly keen to sign him and hope David Moyes can help get the deal over the line. Moyes handed Barkley his Premier League debut when they worked together at Everton.
Newcastle ‘a good fit’ for Barkley
But Agbonlahor suggests that a move to Newcastle would be a smart move for him, backing Steve Bruce to improve his fortunes.
Speaking to Football Insider (via The Chronicle), he said: “I think it would be a good fit. Steve Bruce would get the best out of him.
“Ross Barkley needs to go somewhere now. He’s at a crossroads in his career, he’s 28. He needs to go somewhere and have a really good season. Not just a few months like he did at Villa.
“It could be the perfect move for him to go play week in, week out.”
With Joe Willock’s loan spell at St. James’ now over, it leaves room for a forward-thinking midfielder in the Black and Whites’ eleven.
Willock’s record in the north-east could also tempt Barkley to make the move should the opportunity present itself. The Arsenal youngster scored eight goals in 14 games. He also equaled a club-record by netting in seven consecutive matches.