Ross Barkley was back to his “outstanding” best and could help Aston Villa record some “good results” in their final five Premier League games.
That is the view of ex-Villa captain Gabby Agbonlahor, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after the 27-year-old played a key role in Villa’s 2-1 win over Everton on Sunday.
As relayed by Villa’s Twitter account, Barkley had the most touches, completed passes and successful dribbles of any player at Goodison Park.
Most touches (𝟴𝟰)
Most passes completed (𝟱𝟱)
Most successful dribbles (𝟰)
Top performance. 👏 pic.twitter.com/5YyIHg69aV
— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) May 4, 2021
It was just the third time he has started for Villa since Jack Grealish suffered a shin injury in February.
“It was a great team performance,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.
“I thought Ross Barkley was very good. That was the first time in the last couple of months I’ve seen him play like that. He was outstanding. Getting the ball and driving with it, getting shots off, keeping the ball. I thought he had a very good game.
“With Ross Barkley, maybe he needed games to get himself fit. He looks like a player who needs to be at tip-top fitness to play well.
“Since his injury, he hasn’t looked fit enough. To see him at the weekend, he looked fit, he looked hungry. That’s what Dean Smith has wanted to see and it just hasn’t happened.
“If he can do it for the last five games I’m sure Aston Villa can get some good results.”
After an outstanding start to life at Villa Park, Barkley has not hit the heights since suffering a hamstring injury last November.
He has only scored once and not registered an assist since his return in January.