On-loan Aston Villa midfielder Ross Barkley has been short of form since returning from a hamstring injury in January and may even be at risk of losing his place in the starting XI ahead of Saturday’s Premier League meeting with Leeds United.

One player who could replace him in midfield is Jacob Ramsey, who Alan Hutton hailed as “class” after he signed a new long-term deal earlier this month.

So far in 2021, Barkley has scored just one goal and has failed to provide an assist in the Premier League, having been hooked in seven of his last eight outings for Villa (Transfermarkt). Dean Smith has defended his form, insisting that he has a good output based on statistics, but it might be time to rest him.

Ramsey has made nine league appearances this season but has only amassed 61 minutes of playing time in 2021 (Transfermarkt). The 19-year-old is a box-to-box player who had a hand in 20 goals from 38 games for Aston Villa’s under-18s and 15 goals from 27 games for the under-23s (Transfermarkt), so he could offer a potent threat in the final third.

Ramsey scored three goals in seven appearances while on loan at Doncaster Rovers last season, too, so he may indeed be deserving of his opportunity instead of the 27-year-old Chelsea loanee.

These Aston Villa supporters believe that Barkley is ‘exhausted’ and not match fit, so Ramsey ‘should start’ instead of him on Saturday.