The 24 year old, who has recently returned from a long term achilles injury, appeared on the opening day for Frank Lampard’s side but hasn’t featured since.Embed from Getty Images
The midfielder, who has missed a year of football, lasted just an hour before being subbed and came in for some criticism from supporters for his performance. He’s also not played 90 minutes in 16 months.
Loftus-Cheek is reported to be an alternative option of interest to Dean Smith as he looks to bolster Villa’s midfield options for the season ahead.
Whilst Villa do have variety across the midfield in terms of starters, there is a decided lack of strength in depth. This could prove problematic, as inevitably we will suffer both suspensions and injury.
Outside of the regular faces, the likes of Henri Lansbury struggled to control the game against the likes of Burton. Nor can we be reliant upon promising youth such as Jacob Ramsay.
Further, Smith will be mindful that John McGinn hasn’t rediscovered form or fitness after injury.
Villa, West Ham and Southampton are all interested in Loftus-Cheek, with the player understood to be “frustrated” with a lack of guaranteed first action after a summer of recruitment at Chelsea.
The midfielder also wishes to force his way into Southgate’s England squad ahead of the Euros, which is something that only regular game time will afford him.
Should Villa manage to secure the loan deal, this would end any interest in Barkley, with clubs only permitted to take one player from another PL side.
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