Exclusive - Chelsea manager Frank Lampard has made it clear to Ross Barkley that there is still potentially a future for him at Stamford Bridge in light of his exceptional form so far on loan at Aston Villa.
Barkley was a bit-part player for Chelsea last season and was yet to start a game in 2020/21 by the time he joined Villa on loan for the remainder of the campaign at the end of September.
It appeared to be the first step towards a permanent Stamford Bridge exit, but 90min has learned that Barkley’s performances have been so good he has forced his way back into Lampard’s thinking.
The 26-year-old former Everton star made an instant impact for Villa within days of his arrival by scoring in a 7-2 thrashing of Liverpool. He then went on to net a late winner against Leicester and contributed to the comprehensive 3-0 win over Arsenal in the club’s last game.
Barkley has struck up an excellent understanding with Villa colleagues Jack Grealish and Ollie Watkins and has been completely rejuvenated since joining Dean Smith’s team.
Lampard previously informed the player that he would not be a regular if he stayed at Chelsea this season and gave him the option to leave on loan to pursue game time. Barkley jumped at the chance and it is now paying dividends, which hasn’t gone unnoticed by his Chelsea boss.
90min understands that Villa are already aware Barkley is likely to be out of their price range should they try and pursue a permanent deal. Yet with Lampard hugely impressed by his attitude and form since moving to the West Midlands club, a future at Chelsea is very much in the question.
Lampard is delighted by how Barkley has responded and has made sure the midfielder is aware that he will be brought back into the fold at Stamford Bridge if he keeps it up.