By Paul Robinson

23rd Dec, 2020 | 8:00pm

'Massive' - Exclusive: Pundit wowed by big Aston Villa update via Sky

Paul Robinson claimed Ross Barkley’s return from injury will be a “massive boost” for Aston Villa as they prepare for the visit of Crystal Palace.

The former Spurs and England number one, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, said the 27-year-old has been “instrumental” for Dean Smith’s side this season.

As reported by Sky Sports, the England international is set to return to full training tomorrow and could be fit for the Boxing Day clash against Palace.

Barkley has been sidelined since late November with a hamstring injury suffered in the 2-1 loss against Brighton.

Robinson heaped praise on the summer loan signing from Chelsea ahead of his return.

“Yeah it will be a massive boost to have him back,” he told Football Insider.

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“He has done really, really well this season.

“I really admire his attitude. He did not want to sit around and not play, he wanted to go out on loan ahead of next summer’s Euros. He would not get anywhere near the squad if he was not playing.

“He has joined a team that has been transformed this year.

“Dean Smith has been given free rein in the transfer market. He has been allowed to buy his players, which I am not sure was the case last year, and it has paid off.

“He has a squad and a team that is doing really well. Ross Barkley has been instrumental for them and Dean Smith will be really please that he is back.” 

In other news, it can be REVEALED that Preston, Huddersfield Town & QPR are set to battle it out to sign Aston Villa player in January.