Aston Villa: Leave Gareth Barry in the Premier League

Everton midfielder, and former Aston Villa great, Gareth Barry, was linked to an exit this summer with the Toffees to rejoin Villa. However, this will not happen as the Liverpool Echo reports Barry is still part of manager Ronald Koeman’s plans next year.

Gareth Barry is a shadow of his former self that was a mainstay in the claret and blues central midfield from 1998-2009. Rumors began circulating about a return to Villa Park after Barry fell behind Idrissa Gueye and Morgan Schneiderlin, among others in the Everton midfield.

His precision ball cycling and no-mercy style tackling won the hearts of Villa supporters. Towards the end of his reign, he began to show goal-scoring talents as well. Nowadays Barry will need to be content with less playing time at the age of 36.

Frankly, this is where Gareth Barry belongs. It would be nice to see him link-up with Aston Villa again in the second division, but Barry still has a role for a Premier League club with top-six aspirations.

His legs probably indicate he can no longer go the full ninety every week on top of it all.

It was always unlikely Barry would rejoin Villa, but the reports confirming Koeman wants him back throws water on that rumor.

Now, with Aston Villa chief executive Keith Wyness suspended for three weeks, the club will continue to look elsewhere for a Mile Jedinak understudy.

We’ve heard Liverpool’s Kevin Stewart, but I suspect the club will look elsewhere for a new defensive midfielder.