Chelsea had the best transfer this season during the pandemic. They bought a handful of famous players like Timo Werner, Kai Havertz, and Ben Chilwell. If players are coming here, there would be some players going. Ross Barkley is one of the players who transferred from Chelsea to Aston Villa on a season-long loan. The English national is 28 years old and plays as a central midfielder. He has won quite some trophies with the Blues. It would be exhilarating to see the midfielder with another Premier League club after Chelsea.

Barkley is a Europa League winner as well as an FA Cup winner. He has 33 caps for the national team, and he scored six goals for England. Barkley plays as a central midfielder. He has an excellent vision to give long balls. He played 86 games for Chelsea, and he scored 11 goals and also grabbed 11 assists. Before coming to Chelsea, he was an Everton player, and the stats of his time in Everton are pretty good. He played 179 games for them, and during that time, he scored 27 goals and grabbed 28 assists. Here is the tactical analysis and the scout report of Barkley. 

Barkley’s role at Chelsea

Chelsea is one of the top clubs in England. Managed by Frank Lampard, a Chelsea legend has exciting tactics and strategies to play with. Frank Lampard believes in one-touch passes and quick movement, which has been the dominant style for Chelsea under his management. Creating diamonds and triangles to start the build-up from the back is one of the tactics which Lampard uses.  With the new signings, they have the formation 4-2-3-1.  Barkley is the playmaker, and his strategy is to pass the ball when his player is going to run to receive the ball. His vision confuses the opponents because his balls are unexpected. He was the playmaker of Chelsea from the center. He used to be involved in most of the attacks. He was the engine for counter-attacking also.  

Ross Barkley 2020/21 - Scout Report tactical analysis tactics

Here is an example of the long ball. He has the ball in his half, and he sees Pedro Rodriguez getting to run from the Liverpool defense. He gives an exquisite long ball to Pedro for a smart attack. Chelsea has a high pressing format. They press high on the wings to take control of the gameHe is an attacking midfielder, and he is most of the time in the opponent’s box for receiving the ball from the wings. Barkley has 91% accurate passes. He has 68% successful dribbles in the Premier League. He also has an excellent successful tackle rate. He has 67% successful tackles across the season. He is an attacking midfielder. He doesn’t come back entirely for defense. He stays near the half-line to help the team to counter-attack. His second position is a central attacking midfielder.

Ross Barkley 2020/21 - Scout Report tactical analysis tactics

 As shown in the image, he is pressing on the right-wing in the opponent’s half. Chelsea also used the formation of 4-4-1. Barkley was in the center, supporting Tammy Abraham from the midfield. He is exceptional support from the midfield.

Ross Barkley 2020/21 - Scout Report tactical analysis tactics

Chelsea played this formation against Liverpool in the latest campaign. Barkley was subbed on, and this was the formation played for the rest of the game. Barkley, with Mason Mount, N’Golo Kante, and Werner, had the strategy to press more in the center area and create chances by counter-attacking. Barkley is a player with pace. He was also an essential part of Chelsea to receive through balls from wings. He used to be active and be at the right time in the center.

Ross Barkley 2020/21 - Scout Report tactical analysis tacticsPedro anticipated the run, and Barkley dashed inside Liverpool half to receive the ball. This was the quickness and the awareness of Barkley, which gave Chelsea attack smoothly and made the defenders confused. Barkley was an exceptional player for Chelsea. from attacking to pressing. He would be there.

Ross Barkley 2020/21 - Scout Report tactical analysis tactics

Here is another example of Barkley helping his players by giving them more options and more space to exploit. Marcos Alonso is there and is going towards the Liverpool box. Barkley is running in the center, providing a chance for Alonso to give a through ball. He knows the space in front of him, and he gets past by the defenders to receive the ball. Alonso has three options now on both sides.

Ross Barkley 2020/21 - Scout Report tactical analysis tacticsThis attack showed that Barkey has a good pace, and because of that, he can get a goal on its own. Liverpool loses the ball in Chelsea half, and it came to Barkley. He sprinted towards space in front of him, and no one could stop him. Barkley can be ruthless alone also, and he can be very smart with his team players.

Ross Barkley 2020/21 - Scout Report tactical analysis tactics

Barkley also has a playmaker quality, which Chelsea had an advantage. He also lets his players get the ball for a counter-attack. In the above picture, he sees William running beside him, and a space in front of him is empty/ He passes the ball to him, which created a counterattack when half of the Liverpool team is in Chelsea’s half.

How does Barkley fit in at Aston Villa?

They are one of the two teams in the Premier League which are unbeaten. Villa has also conceded just two goals in the Premier League. That’s an unexpected thing for Villa because Villa had the worse defensive record in the league, having conceded 58 goals in 30 games, which is almost two goals per game. Dean smith tactics are really to play from the wings as well as attack from the center. The usual formation for Smith is 4-3-3 or 4-4-2 in the last minutes of the game. They play the triangle shape with the defender and the midfielder. Since the start of the season, they are playing with the two formations and transitioning between them.

Ross Barkley 2020/21 - Scout Report tactical analysis tacticsThe above picture shows Smiths’ tactics against Sheffield United earlier this season. In the first hour, the formation is 4-3-3. After the hour mark, the formation changes to 4-4-2. The formation would be changed for providing more support to the defense. The formation has helped the Villa to have more possession technically and to play from the center as well as from the wings.

Ross Barkley 2020/21 - Scout Report tactical analysis tactics

Here is an example of the formation. The players analyze the situation, and they change their formation and gameplay accordingly. Villa needs a midfield boost with some outstanding players in the attack. Barkley would be supportive. 

Ross Barkley 2020/21 - Scout Report tactical analysis tactics

During counter-attacks, Villa doesn’t have the players’ advantage most of the time. Barkley would be filling the shoes of this also. His pace will correctly work for Villa. Aston Villa is not strong enough on its wings and also slightly weak in providing successful crosses.

Ross Barkley 2020/21 - Scout Report tactical analysis tacticsWhen Villa press. They only have on pressing from the center. Grealish is on the left, Traore would be on the right. This makes the opponent attack from the center. Villa could get punished due to less pressing from the center. Barkley would help the center forward for the high-pressure villa want. The wings are secured because wingers have the pace. The center would be covered with Barkley, and it will help the Villa take the ball from the opponents by giving so much pressure in their half.

Preferable Lineup

Barkley comes with a lot of potentials to create special attacks and also as strong support in the midfield. His long ball range really would help the Villa keep their unbeaten form in the premier league. Here is the preferable lineup

Ross Barkley 2020/21 - Scout Report tactical analysis tactics

The ideal formation will be 4-3-3. Barkley being a right foot player, would be on the Right side, supporting Bertrand Traore on the right-wing. He would also be able to give exquisite passes to Jack Grealish on the left-wing. Smith also played 4-2-3-1 against Liverpool this weekend. They thrashed Liverpool by scoring seven goals. Barkley was on the score sheet on his debut. Barkley was in the center and was supporting Ollie Watkins. Smith’s tactics and strategies of using the player at their desired position was spot on. They scored the highest number of goals against the best in England. It was a pure humiliation for Liverpool.


The signings of Kai Havertz and Hakim Ziyech had pushed Barkley down the pecking order, which allowed Villa to swoop in. As we have seen in this analysis, Barkley is a high-quality player who is approaching his peak. Villa has made a strong start to the season, winning all four of their matches so far, and Barkley’s arrival will boost a midfield that already boasts the talents of Jack Grealish, John McGinn, and Conor Hourihane. He would be a strong support to the Villa. Last season Villa just saved from relegation. Smith would not want the same situation to happen this season also. It will be worthwhile to see Villa games. Villa will be faced with Liverpool this weekend, and Barkley had a great debut. Villa is the only team with Everton, which is unbeaten in the league. They are a reliable team, and with Barkley on their defense, they would do well.