Things have gone quite well in the first month of the season for Ross Barkley at Aston Villa. Unable to carve out regular opportunities at Stamford Bridge since his arrival in January 2018, the 26-year-old has immediately become a central figure in Villa’s efforts to avoid another relegation battle like last season.
Beyond his play on the pitch and the two goals he’s scored already, including the 90th-minute winner against Leicester City that kept Villa a perfect four-for-four in the league, Barkley has also had a positive effect in the team’s dressing room. According to Villa manager Dean Smith, Barkley’s experience in the Champions League and at international level is providing an extra boost to the likes of Jack Grealish, and the fans as well.
“He has made a big impact, even just in the dressing room. That fact that we have been able to entice that calibre of player into the club has gone down well in the dressing room, with our staff and fans as well."