Aston Villa manager Dean Jones told Ross Barkley he would obtain him into England’s squad meant for next summer’s European Championships as well as the on-loan Chelsea midfielder has began proving his new boss correct.
Barkley, who transforms 27 in December, has not featured designed for Gareth Southgate’s squad for more than the usual year since scoring twice within the 6-0 win over Bulgaria.
His career appeared to be stagnating in Stamford Bridge but he had been sold a new vision by Cruz and, having made a temporary shift at the end of the summer window, has replied by scoring in his first 2 matches for the club – their latest an added-time strike which usually secured a 1-0 win at Leicester upon Sunday night.
That goal lifted Villa, who also survived relegation by one stage in July, to second within the Premier League table, helped within no small part by the wants of Barkley adding more dynamism for their midfield.
“He’s the high-calibre player. I’m thankful in order to Chelsea that they’ve loaned your pet to us, ” said Cruz of the Liverpool-born former Everton midfielder.
“I sold your pet the project here and informed him I’ll get him in the Euros squad and he’ll try and help us win football games. He’s certainly done that in his first couple.
“He couldn’t have started better. Being a Blue, getting that will win and scoring against the Yellows (in a 7-2 win prior to the international break) and then getting that will in the 91st minute couldn’t are a better start for him or even us.
“It was obviously a tough game and that bit of high quality shone through at the end. ”
Having scraped home for the final day of the season to obtain their top-flight status, Villa possess begun as a different team, the one that boasts one of only two one hundred per cent records in Europe’s five leagues.
Their just two goals conceded to date each came against Liverpool and Cruz believes three clean sheets within four matches points to a brand new mindset.
“I feel really pleased with it but I have already been pleased with it since lockdown (in March), ” he added.
“There is a general work ethics between players that they want to maintain clean sheets and it is a credit score not just to the defenders and goalkeeper but the whole team. ”
The trend for Leicester seems to be heading in the other direction because, having thrown away the chance of a top-four finish last season with simply four wins ii their last 14 league matches, they have today lost three of the last 4 in all competitions.
Along with three wins in the Premier Little league, however , they remain in fourth, before Arsenal on goal difference, plus manager Brendan Rodgers continues to glance at the positives despite losing centre-back Caglar Soyuncu for 3 months with a groin injury sustained on international responsibility with Turkey.
Their replacement against Villa was 19-year-old debutant Wesley Fofana, a £30m arrival from Saint-Etienne on deadline day, who impressed in a sport low on chances.
“I thought he was exceptional and the supporters will have great pleasure watching him, ” said the particular Northern Irishman.
“Whether he plays in a back 3 or a two he has huge possible. For a defender his anticipation is really good, for someone so youthful he reads the game so nicely.
“His jumping capability was so aggressive and that is some thing you need in the British game like a central defender.
“He will be a big player for our upcoming and it was disappointing for your pet not to get the result but their individual performance offers hope for the near future. ”
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