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Alex Scott: ‘Any other neglected alternative’ for Ross Barkley as he is going off in Jack Grealish’s absence

‘How many chances does a player need?’: Alex Scott claims it’s ‘another missed opportunity’ for Ross Barkley as Chelsea loanee is hauled off despite absence of Jack Grealish as Aston Villa slip to home defeat by Leicester

  • Ross Barkley has been taken off in seven of Aston Villa’s last eight league games
  • The 27-year-old struggled to make an impact as the hosts lost 2-1 to Leicester
  • Sky Sports pundit Alex Scott was frustrated at Barkley’s lack of influence
  • Villa may need to rely on Barkley for the next month in Jack Grealish’s absence

Alex Scott has criticised Ross Barkley after the Chelsea loanee put in another mediocre display and was hauled off as Aston Villa lost 2-1 at home to Leicester.

The 27-year-old joined Dean Smith’s men in the summer in the hope of forcing his way into Gareth Southgate‘s plans for Euro 2020 having fallen out of favour with Frank Lampard. 

Barkley’s spell in the West Midlands began with a bang with goals in successive eye-catching wins over Liverpool (7-2) and Leicester (1-0) as Villa signalled their intent as one of the Premier League’s dark horses this campaign. 

Alex Scott criticised Ross Barkley after another disappointing performance for Aston Villa

Alex Scott criticised Ross Barkley after another disappointing performance for Aston Villa

The 27-year-old was hauled off in Sunday's loss to Leicester after failing to influence the game

The 27-year-old was hauled off in Sunday’s loss to Leicester after failing to influence the game

Another influential display in the 3-0 victory away at Arsenal on November 8 made fans sit up and take notice, but he was withdrawn after five minutes in the next game at home to Brighton with a hamstring injury and missed the next two months. 

The Everton youth product has struggled to recapture his early-season form since his return, with his winning strike against Southampton at the end of January a rare moment of inspiration in a run that has seen him substituted in seven of the last eight league games, including in the recent win over the Gunners when he kicked a water bottle following Smith’s decision to replace him with teenager Jacob Ramsey. 

Speaking on Sky Sports, pundit Scott expressed her frustration at Barkley’s lack of involvement during his 75 minutes of action against the Foxes and believes it was a missed opportunity for him with Jack Grealish out injured for the next month.

‘For me it’s another missed opportunity for Ross Barkley to show up and demand, he’s been subbed off again and you can see in his face he’s not happy. But how many chances does a player need? 

‘You need to take it upon yourself. There’s only so many chances that he can be deserving. He’s missed another opportunity today.’

Barkley's only goal involvement this year was the last-gasp winner at Southampton last month

Barkley’s only goal involvement this year was the last-gasp winner at Southampton last month

Barkley will need to step up to the plate with Jack Grealish potentially out injured for a month

Barkley will need to step up to the plate with Jack Grealish potentially out injured for a month

Villa were without captain and creative genius Grealish against Brendan Rodgers’ men and the team’s talisman could miss up to a month of first-team action after sustaining a leg injury in training. 

If Smith’s worst fears are realised, Grealish could potentially miss successive away trips to Leeds and Sheffield United before home games against Wolves and Tottenham either side of a visit to Newcastle. 

If eighth-placed Villa are to avoid being dragged further into mid-table, Barkley will be one of the players who he will look to to step up his performances. 

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