This comes after Bates recently made an appearance on Villa-themed podcast Gather ‘Round The Lamp where he spoke about a number of topics about the Birmingham club.
On the subject of Barkley, Bates had this to say about the midfielder. (32.17)
He said: “I think Barkley needs a break.
“I know Smith said he’s looking to continue to break him into the side but, he’s just a passenger at the moment and I think we need players that are really up for it and raring to go and who are on form and [Jacob] Ramsey certainly looks like he’s chomping at the bit to get in, so I’d be making that change for sure [against Leeds].”
Villa signed Barkley on a season-long loan from fellow Premier League side Chelsea back in September.
Since he arrived at Villa Park, the 27-year-old, who is currently valued at £19.35 million, has made 14 Premier League appearances for Dean Smith’s side in which he has managed to score three goals and provide one assist in the process (per Transfermarkt).
TIF Thoughts on Andy Bates’ comments on Barkley…
Given how Barkley managed to earn himself some disappointing match ratings in his previous two league games for Villa against Brighton & Hove Albion (6.4/10) and Leicester City (6.45/10), it seems that he is not in the best run of form at the moment and it’s understandable why Bates thinks he should be dropped from the team for the Leeds clash.
Do you think Smith should start Barkley against Leeds?
In our view, if Barkley’s fitness is the reason for his dip in form, perhaps missing this game against Leeds could be the best move for him. However, if his fitness isn’t an issue, then the best way to get him back to his best form would be to play him at every opportunity to try and get the best out of him again.