On the subject of Barkley and his current situation at Villa Park, Preece had this to say on the matter.
He said: “He’s at a bit of a crossroads in his career now, Barkley.
“I really want him to come on strong with 10 games to go because look at the player he is, he is an asset when he’s fit and firing.
“Whether he’ll get that chance I’m not too sure now with Villa having Morgan Sanson and Jacob Ramsey emerging, but there’s still time to go. I think he needs to lay down a marker and needs to do more with his time on the pitch if he gets it.”
Since joining up with the rest of Dean Smith’s squad, the 27-year-old, who is currently valued at £18 million, has made 18 appearances for the Villans in the Premier League in which he has managed to score three goals and provide one assist in the process (per Transfermarkt).
TIF Thoughts on Ashley Preece’s comments on Barkley and his current situation at the club…
Given how Barkley hasn’t scored a goal or provided a goal since Villa’s win over Southampton back in January and hasn’t started a league game for them since their 2-1 defeat against Leicester City in February, it’s understandable why Preece has come out and said Barkley needs to do more out on the pitch when he gets the chance.
Do you think Barkley should start Villa's next league game?
Barkley has become something of a target in recent weeks, so it is perhaps not surprising to see further calls for him to improve amid the lull in Villa’s domestic season. And given how he started the season at Villa Park in such scintillating form – with two goals in his first two appearances for the club – it could be argued that demands for the midfielder to improve his performances are rather justified.