Kevin Phillips claims Jesse Lingard is an ideal Ross Barkley replacement for Aston Villa ahead of the summer transfer window.
The former Sunderland hitman, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, was reacting as Villa enter the race to sign West Ham’s loanee star.
As revealed by Football Insider, Villa are prepared to battle West Ham for Lingard’s signature this summer after his dazzling loan spell in east London.
Lingard, 28, has been a revelation since joining the Hammers in January as he’s helped their push for Champions League qualification with nine goals in eleven games.
In contrast, Barkley has gone off the boil at Villa Park after starting the season in fine form following his loan move from Chelsea.
Phillips claims West Ham will go all out to sign Lingard this summer and insisted the player will turn down a move to Villa if there is the opportunity to stay in the capital.
“Lingard is going to be linked with every Premier League club this summer,” Phillips told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.
“He’s been fantastic at West Ham. I think he’ll end up staying there but it’s no surprise that clubs like Villa are interested.
“I was very surprised with Ross, I really praised him early on but he’s gone off the boil.
“Clearly there’s something not quite right because he’s not kicked on like I thought he would so Lingard would be an ideal replacement.
“West Ham, he’s already there, he’s worked with David Moyes. I see West Ham pulling up trees to sign him.
“The player might opt for that too and that’s assuming Manchester United don’t want him back, which I don’t think they will.”
West Ham’s Champions League hopes took a blow at the weekend as a 1-0 loss to Chelsea saw the club drop to fifth in the Premier League.
Villa had a better result as they snatched a last minute equaliser in their 2-2 derby draw with West Brom.