Ross Barkley is running out of time to secure a permanent Aston Villa deal and may be dropped against Leeds United, according to Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Villa captain admitted he was disappointed by the 27-year-old’s performance against Leicester as he expected him to step up in the absence of Jack Grealish.
Villa lost 2-1 to the Foxes at Villa Park and Barkley was withdraw from the action with 15 minutes to go with Villa chasing an equaliser.
He finished the game with an 89 per cent pass completion rate but did not attempt any dribbles and lost possession 11 times, according to sofascore.
Asked for his assessment of Barkley’s display, Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “I was really looking forward to the game because I was thinking ‘This is the game that somebody steps up to the plate with Jack injured.’
“I felt it was the perfect game for Barkley to get on the ball, run past people like he used to at Everton but I didn’t really see it to be honest. He wasn’t getting the ball and running past players.
“If you need a goal and Dean Smith is taking him off it means he’s not happy with his performance and he wants more from him.
“The fee that Villa are paying in wages they want a better return in goals and assists.
“He’ll be looking at it and telling him ‘You need to get back to your best.’
“I think he’ll keep with him for Leeds but he’ll be saying ‘You need to do more because we’ve got the likes of Jacob Ramsey and Morgan Sanson who are itching for a start.’ He needs to give more.
“If he does get dropped, which could very well happen, I don’t think he can argue because we know what he’s capable of what he’s doing when he’s on his game but we’re not seeing enough of it at the moment.
“If you ask Villa fans, they would say they wouldn’t mind him being dropped.”