Ross Barkley has not looked the same player since his injury earlier this season and Aston Villa will only sign him permanently if he rediscovers his best form.
That is the view of former Aston Villa captain Gabriel Agbonlahor, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after it was revealed it would take a £35million fee to keep the 27-year-old at Villa Park in the summer.
This site revealed on Tuesday that Dean Smith is still weighing up whether to pursue a permanent transfer for Barkley and has yet to make up his mind.
Barkley enjoyed a fine start to life in the Midlands in October where he scored on debut in Villa’s 7-2 thrashing of Liverpool before grabbing the winner against Leicester City in his second appearance.
He then missed two months of action after suffering a hamstring injury against Brighton & Hove Albion and has not registered scored just one goal since.
Asked whether Villa should pursue a permanent deal for Barkley, Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “I don’t think so at the moment.
“Barkley did amazingly before his injury.
“Since his injury, he looks like he might not be 100 per cent fit yet.
“If he can play in these last games and put in performances in these last 13 games then, yes, Villa will want to buy him.
“It all depends on him. Villa won’t want to pay £35million unless he shows in these games that he’s worth the money.
“He’s got to put in the performances to justify the money.
“Villa won’t pay it unless he puts in the performances.”
Barkley has scored three times and contributed one assist in 14 appearances for Aston Villa this season.
However, he has dropped out of the starting XI in favour of teenager Jacob Ramsey in their last two games.