Aston Villa have been linked with a move for Sander Berge and Emile Heskey believes they should sign him over Ross Barkley this summer. Berge has impressed for Sheffield United despite their Premier League woes this season and Heskey says he’s a better option for Villa than turning Barkley’s loan move permanent.

The former Villa and England striker told HITC: “I’ve seen a little bit of Sander Berge and he looks very technical. He drives with the ball as well. I couldn’t work out whether he’s a sitting midfielder, an eight or a ten. But he gets into certain areas and creates havoc.”

“He’s very, very good at picking passes. I could see him fitting at Villa. Where he would fit, I’m not sure. It will be interesting to see. He’s not old so he’d definitely be a good addition. Do they take Ross Barkley? Do they send him back and then take Berge? Yeah, I think it’s a good option.”

Berge has made 14 appearances in all competitions for the Blades this season, spending a lot of the campaign out with injury (Transfermarkt). When fit, the 23-year-old has been an effective box-to-box player who is diligent in his defensive duties and composed in possession.

As for Barkley, his form has fallen apart since returning from a hamstring injury and Villa are having second thoughts about signing him permanently. Berge isn’t really a direct alternative to the 27-year-old, however, as he’s more defensive-minded, so there is the possibility of both or neither player being signed by Villa.

READ ASTON VILLA VERDICT

This writer explained why Berge may not be signed when the summer transfer window opens as Villa already have John McGinn, Douglas Luiz, Morgan Sanson and Marvelous Nakamba who can operate in his role, but Heskey isn’t wrong with his praise. His advice just may not be taken.