Alex McLeish has backed Leeds United to sign Chelsea outcast Ross Barkley, stating the midfielder will improve Marcelo’a Bielsa’s options.
After years in the periphery of the first team, Ross Barkley’s career has spiralled into uncertainty at Chelsea. Even after a decent loan spell at Aston Villa, the midfielder is still considered an outsider in Thomas Tuchel’s side.
Despite his praiseworthy cameo earlier against Southampton, when he changed the game’s complexion, Barkley still finds himself either on the bench or out of the matchday squad altogether. He has not featured after that game against the Saints.
At 27, Barkley still has plenty to offer on the football pitch and recognising his potential, Premier League clubs are preparing offers to sign him up in the January window. The interest stems from clubs such as Burnley, Newcastle United and Leeds United, all of whom are keen on recruiting the Chelsea midfielder.
While previous reports suggested Barkley might be open to joining Burnley, the interest from Leeds United, in particular, could turn his head. The Yorkshire club has plenty of space for a potential star to emerge from the window, and improve the side, especially on the attacking front.
Marcelo Bielsa could be looking to provide some of his players with a level of competition. Specifically, Rodrigo Moreno has come under the focus of critics, as the Spaniard has failed to perform well this season. Barkley could be the competition for him, as the Leeds United manager hopes to bring in players to arrest their current slump.
Alex McLeish has backed the idea of a move for Barkley, stating the Chelsea outcast might be the perfect fit for Bielsa’s system. Speaking to Football Insider, the manager explained why Leeds United should bring in the midfielder.
McLeish said, “He has the quality and is a good name to pluck out of who’s available. Rodrigo is a good player; there’s no doubt. You just don’t bring players to Leeds if they’re not of that level.”
“But Barkley’s got the experience and also the confidence to help other players in the team. He’s never really made himself a permanent fixture. Could he do that at Leeds? They certainly could be doing with a wee spark.”
Barkley appears to be in need of some inspiration and a new challenge at Leeds could well help him seek that. Whether he can actually provide that spark at Elland Road remains to be seen if he is brought over by the Whites in the January transfer window.