Newcastle United are considering a sensational swoop for Chelsea’s fringe star Ross Barkley as an alternative to the Joe Willock move.
According to the reports in The Athletic, out-of-favour Chelsea star Ross Barkley is one of the potential midfield targets for Newcastle United. They are actively scouring the market for a progressive, box-to-box goalscoring midfielder to fill the creative void in their midfield.
The 27-year-old was brought to Chelsea from Everton in a reported £15 million deal back in 2018 but has since struggled for consistent game-time and has only netted 11 goals in 86 appearances he made for the Bleus so far. Injuries have always played a big part in his downfall and poor performances mean he could not justify the media hype around him.
Last year, Barkley was sent on a season-long loan to Aston Villa. He made a bright start at Villa Park struck up a wonderful looking partnership with Jack Grealish, he also starred in the 7-2 thrashing of Liverpool but then another hamstring injury means he had to miss 9 games after which he again became inconsistent and struggled to get minutes.
Reading out some stats from his tenure at Villa Park, he contributed to 3 goals and one assist in 24 appearances, out of which six were as a substitute, averaged 1.6 key passes, took 1.6 shots per game and completed 1.2 dribbles per 90. His attacking metrics are decent, but he was always criticized for his lack of defensive contributions.
Barkley is all about pace, power, strength, and technique are his strengths, and it’s very hard to stop him when he’s dribbling through the opposition midfield. He’s got a wand of a right foot and is also elegant with his finishing.
Thomas Tuchel has made it very clear that Barkley is not in his plans, and Chelsea are very keen to offload him this summer and recoup some of the invested money if possible. Barkley still has 2-years left to run on his Chelsea contract.
Newcastle are a little bit short in midfield at the current moment, Shelvey is currently out with a groin injury, it seems Matty Longstaff may be moved out on loan to the championship, and Willock’s departure leaves a hole in the midfield (whose goalscoring performances were crucial to Newcastle’s survival last year).
Hendrick’s anonymous performances hardly convinced anyone on Tyneside. Hayden is a good hard-tackling defensive powerhouse but provides next to nothing going forwards, making him a very one-dimensional midfielder.
It is also believed that Steve Bruce is a big fan of the former England International and would want to bring Barkley to St James’ Park in what would be a coup for the Magpies. Still, his monstrous wages may scupper the negotiations as the Englishman is on a hefty £100k-a-week wage packet, which is well above Newcastle’s range.
Villa are understood to be the frontrunners for Barkley’s signature. But, Everton, West Ham, and Newcastle have all registered their interest, making the talent a commodity in demand right now.