Ross Barkley has done nothing to warrant a permanent transfer to Aston Villa and will “absolutely” return to Chelsea when his loan expires next month.
That is according to ex-Premier League forward Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after Barkley – who has 221 Premier League appearances to his name – started on the bench for Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Liverpool.
It was the seventh successive match the on-loan man has been left out of the starting XI by manager Dean Smith.
Whelan rubbished any claims that Barkley could make his Villa Park switch permanent in the summer.
He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “I don’t think a permanent deal is going to happen, absolutely not. That’s probably already decided.
“He’s not that important to Villa. If he was, he’d be starting every single game.
“I think he’ll be going back to his parent club and they’ll be looking for another loan deal for Ross Barkley.
“He just hasn’t made the most of the opportunity that’s been given to him while he’s been on loan at Aston Villa.”
Barkley has featured 22 times in total across all competitions for Villa this season, scoring four goals and laying on one assist.
A 33-time international, Barkley has not featured for England since 2019 and his hopes of making the squad for this summer’s Euros appear to be fading fast.