Aston Villa boss Dean Smith is not giving Ross Barkley the necessary minutes on the pitch to turn his poor form around.
That is according to ex-Premier League goalkeeper Paddy Kenny, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the on-loan Chelsea midfielder.
Barkley, 27, has not played 90 minutes in the league since January and has been named on the bench for Villa’s last seven matches.
Kenny claims that Barkley has effectively been backed into a corner by Smith and cannot prove himself unless he is given more game-time.
“Certain clubs suit certain players and some don’t,” he told Football Insider correspondent Adam Williams.
“Barkley hasn’t been playing much recently and he’s struggled but he started well when he first arrived.
“There isn’t much you can do when you’re only getting 20 minutes. For any player coming on with not long to go, it’s hard to make an impact. Ask anyone.
“He needs more game time. It’s so difficult when you don’t have the time on the pitch to prove that you’re good enough to be in that team.
“If the manager’s not picking you, what can you do? You can probably try too hard sometimes when the manager is only giving you a limited time on the pitch.”
Villa paid a whopping £11m loan fee for the 33-time England international in September.
But after a promising start, he has flatlined, though Villa chief executive Christian Purslow was still keen on a permanent deal in mid-March.