Ross Barkley has been told by Frank Lampard that there could still be a way back for him at Chelsea after making an impressive start to his loan spell at Aston Villa.
Barkley, 26, made the decision to join Villa on loan in the summer and autumn transfer window after seemingly dropping down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues’ £220million spending spree, which saw the likes of Kai Havertz, Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner arrive in west London, left Lampard with greater options in attacking midfield.
In order to boost his chances of playing regular first-team football, Barkley signed for Dean Smith’s men on a season-long loan and has got off to a flyer in the Midlands.
The England international has produced a string of impressive displays for Villa, helping them occupy sixth place in the Premier League while recording shock 7-2 and 3-0 wins over Liverpool and Arsenal.
He has forged an instant connection with Three Lions team-mate Jack Grealish, with the pair pulling the strings in their three-goal win away at Arsenal last week.
And according to Eurosport, Lampard has been in touch with Barkley to praise him for his solid start to life at Villa Park.
It is believed the Chelsea boss told him that he could still feature in his plans if his strong form continues over the course of the loan.
That will give the former Everton man an added incentive to keep shining for Villa, where he has already registered two goals and one assists in his first five appearances.
Barkley will also be keen to impress England boss Gareth Southgate ahead of next summer’s delayed Euro 2020 tournament, although he was controversially left out of the Three Lions’ latest squad.
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Villa manager Smith said last month: “[Barkley] is a high-calibre player. I’m thankful to Chelsea that they’ve loaned him to us.
“I sold him the project here and told him I’ll get him in the Euros squad and he’s going to try and help us win football games. He’s certainly done that in his first couple.”
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