Kevin Campbell has claimed Ross Barkley may have been dropped for the trip to Leeds United because he is only on loan at Aston Villa.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Arsenal and Everton striker claimed manager Dean Smith is “putting his faith” in players who are going to be at the club for the long-term.
Barkley was an unused substitute for the 1-0 win at Elland Road on Saturday night.
His omission came as a surprise given that he had started the previous eight Premier League fixtures, and the fact that Jack Grealish was sidelined.
In total, Barkley, on loan from Chelsea, has contributed three goals and on assist in 13 appearances for Villa.
When asked by Football Insider if Smith’s decision to drop Barkley could be down to a trust issue, Campbell said: “I think the key to Barkley’s absence is he is a Chelsea player.
“For all of his quality, Dean Smith has players there who can be the answer long-term for Aston Villa.
“There may be a trust element there but I think he is putting his faith in players who are going to be there for the long-term.”
Football Insider revealed on Tuesday that the club are far from certain as to whether they will pursue the signing of Barkley on a permanent basis.
Chelsea have slapped a £35million price tag on the England international this summer.