By Alan Hutton

8th Dec, 2020 | 4:00pm

'Massive Loss' - Exclusive: Top pundit reacts to Aston Villa news pre-Wolves

Alan Hutton admits he is gutted to hear Ross Barkley will be missing for Aston Villa ahead of Saturday’s derby clash with Wolves.

The former Villa and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, insisted the attacking midfielder had been sorely missed by the Villans against Brighton and West Ham in recent weeks.

Speaking to the Express and Star, Dean Smith confirmed the 27-year-old would be missing for Saturday’s game at Molineux as he recovers from a hamstring injury picked up in the first five minutes against the Seagulls.

With Villa’s game against Newcastle United postponed, the defeat to West Ham was the only game Barkley has missed so far.

Hutton admitted it was disappointing to hear the midfielder would be missing for a game of such magnitude on Saturday.

Hutton told Football Insider: “Of course it’s a huge game, it was always a great atmosphere when we used to play Wolves and there was obviously that kind of heated rivalry so it’s going to be a very difficult game.

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“One that Villa need to get back to winning ways as well and obviously Wolves will want to do the same so it’ll be a good encounter but it’s a massive loss, Ross Barkley.

“I think we’ve seen in the start to the season that he’s had, he’s been instrumental in a lot of the good things that Villa do.

“To miss him in the last couple of weeks has been disappointing but you can’t rush a hamstring injury, you need to wait until it’s right or you’ll miss him for six to eight weeks so I think he’s doing the right thing with him.”

In other Aston Villa news, a record-breaking transfer has been tipped after “crazy” development at Villa Park.