By: Muhaimin Olowoporoku

Aston Villa have announced signing Chelsea’s midfielder Ross Barkley on loan from the London team.

The 26-year-old has endured a slow start to his Chelsea career due to injuries. However, his move to Aston Villa was fuelled by his desire to retain his England call-up.

Barkley said that he hopes to make it to England’s Euros squad next summer following his Aston Villa move. For the midfielder to get playing time in Chelsea would be difficult after the club recruited a number of fresh legs to add quality to their midfield options.

Barkley has earned 33 caps for England, and hopes that more playing time at Aston Villa could earn him a call-up for the Euros next summer.

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“The last couple of years I’ve been stop-start, performing well and then being out of the team,” Barkley told Villa’s official website upon completing his move.

“To come here and have the chance to play and perform regularly is a big thing for me. With the Euros at the end of the season, it’s a big target for me and hopefully, I can be there.

“Dean Smith swayed me with the way he spoke to me, and it looks like it’s going to be an exciting season.”

Barkley added that his decision was also swayed by Villa captain Jack Grealish, who he says he counts as a close friend.

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