Smith explains why Chelsea star will ‘thrive’ at Villa as loan deal agreed

Date published: Wednesday 30th September 2020 11:08 - Jonny Whitfield

Dean Smith

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith says he is confident Ross Barkley will “thrive” at his new club, after the Chelsea midfielder agreed a loan switch.

England international Barkley has moved to Villa Park for the season after struggling for game time with the Blues.

Speaking to Villa’s official website, Smith hailed the exciting piece of business which will improve his team.

“Capturing a player of Ross’s quality is a real coup for our club and I am certain he will thrive here and improve our team,” the manager said.

Barkley appeared in two of Chelsea‘s three Premier League games this season but only played 40 minutes.

Indeed his only start came in the Carabao Cup victory over Barnsley last week, in which he scored.

The 26-year-old has 33 Three Lions caps, having progressed impressively at Everton and Chelsea.

Barkley scored 27 goals in 179 appearances for the Toffees before his move down south in January 2018.

The midfielder struggled with injury in his first half-season with Chelsea but showed promise thereafter.

However Kai Havertz’s arrival pushed him down Frank Lampard’s pecking order, leading to the move away.

Barkley available for Sunday’s Liverpool clash

Barkley will be unavailable for Thursday’s Carabao Cup visit of Stoke, having already played in the competition for Chelsea this season.

Villa have won their opening two Premier League games and Barkley could make his debut against Liverpool on Sunday.

The midlands club have already broken their transfer record to sign Ollie Watkins from Brentford in a deal worth up to £33million.

What’s more, they snapped up Bertrand Traore from Lyon for £17million earlier this month having spent £20million to bring goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez from Arsenal.

Lampard quiet on Rudiger speculation

Antonio Rudiger

Meanwhile, another Chelsea star who could leave before Monday’s transfer deadline is Antonio Rudiger.

The centre-back has been linked with the likes of PSG and even rivals Tottenham, having fallen down the pecking order.

However, Lampard denied his decision to leave the German out of Tuesday’s defeat to Spurs was because Rudiger would be leaving the club before the transfer deadline.

“No. It’s not at that point,” he simply replied.

READ MORE: Jose Mourinho praises ‘not normal’ Eric Dier after explaining bizarre incident in Tottenham win over Chelsea

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