Ross Barkley joins Aston Villa on season-long loan

Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool is challenged by Ross Barkley of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on September 20, 2020 in London, England.

The 26-year-old midfielder has become the club’s fifth signing of the transfer window after being allowed to leave Stamford Bridge.

Villa were also interested in his team-mate Ruben Loftus-Cheek, though a move for Barkley was always the preferred option for boss Dean Smith.

He said: “Capturing a player of Ross’s quality is a real coup for our club and I am certain he will thrive here and improve our team.”

The arrival of Barkley, who has been capped 33 times by England, is another boost to Villa following their excellent start to the season.

Smith’s team have won their opening four matches, including both in the Premier League, after splashing out more than £75million on Matty Cash, Ollie Watkins, Emiliano Martinez and Bertrand Traore.

Barkley has made 52 appearances for Chelsea in the Premier League and Champions League since joining from Everton in an £18m deal in January 2018.

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