After the 7-2 demolition of Liverpool at Villa, many of the Aston Villa players could have laid claim to the Man of the Match award. However, it was Ollie Watkins who walked away with that accolade after his clinical hat-trick. But there was one player who also stood out on the night and was equally devastating against the champions. Ross Barkley joined Villa from London club Chelsea just before the transfer window closed.

He marked his Aston Villa debut against Liverpool by scoring a goal. He hit a powerful shot from outside the box which took a bad deflection of Trent Alexander-Arnold and sailed past the Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian. It would appear that Barkley’s time in the claret and sky blue of Villa has started positively. So, this is probably a good time to examine the player’s journey up till now.

Originally from Liverpool, Barkley joined Everton at age 11. He worked his way through the club’s system and was due to make his senior debut for the club in the 2010/11 season when he broke his leg. He finally made his debut for Everton at the start of the 2011/12 season. He played in a 1-0 defeat to Queens Park Rangers and he was even named Man of the Match.

During his time at Everton, he became a main component of the Everton team. He did go out on loan to clubs such as Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds United. This time away only helped to improve him as a player. He has been described as “one of the best players we’ll ever see in this country.” by Martin Keown.

Towards the end of his time at Everton, a dispute over his contract with then manager Ronald Koeman and an injury kept him out of the team. Barkley then decided to sign for Chelsea for a sum of £15 million. Since joining, Barkley became a very important player in the Chelsea set-up. Competition for places at the London club has got tough, this is down to the arrival of Hakim Ziyech and Kai Havertz in the midfield. So, it was obvious that Barkley had a big decision to make before the transfer deadline shut.

A move to Aston Villa is an interesting one. Especially since the Midlands club have been showing great signs of improvement since the beginning of this season. The move will certainly provide Barkley with a great deal of opportunity. He will have to improve on his three appearances and one goal for Chelsea this season. It certainly will not do his England chances any harm– as the Euros are just around the corner and he will need regular games to be in contention for an England place.

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