Rob Edwards makes Aston Villa admission after Ross Barkley completes Luton transfer

Ross Barkley impressed at Luton Town last season
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Rob Newell - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Luton Town manager Rob Edwards has revealed a key reason why Ross Barkley chose to sign for Aston Villa is because he believes it will give him the best chance of returning to the England side.

The 30-year-old midfielder returns to Villa on a permanent deal worth £5m after he spent a season on loan at Villa Park from Chelsea in 2020/21. Following his final full season at Chelsea and then a loan move to Nice, Barkley signed on at Luton following their promotion to the Premier League.

He scored five times and provided six assists in 37 appearances for Luton, but following their relegation to the Championship, the ex-Everton man was destined to leave.

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'We are disappointed to see Ross go, but we completely understand it and he leaves with our best wishes and thanks," Edwards said. "It was great to work with him for a season. He was amazing, provided lots of good memories for us all and the supporters fell in love with him, but I’m sure everyone will understand the opportunity.

“Playing in the Premier League is important for Ross, as is Champions League football. He still wants to play for England and believes this [move to Villa] gives him the best chance to do so. We’ve had a good chat and Ross has thanked me and the club. We are parting on good terms and you never know what the future holds, I’ve got to say that.

“He loves all of the supporters and he wants to come back to watch a game. He actually said, ‘I want to come back for the Watford derby!’ So let’s give him a great reception when he does come back during the season. He’ll always be welcome.”

Luton CEO Gary Sweet added: “To have a player of Ross Barkley’s stature and class grace the Kenilworth Road pitch has been an absolute joy to watch for all of us Luton Town supporters.

“To be able to give him a home for a season and a haven for the rest of his career – he knows he can always lean on us – is an absolute win-win situation for both parties.

“Ross came here and bought into everything that Luton Town is about. He’s loved his time at the club and of course, every single one of us would choose Champions League football over the Championship, so no-one should ever question his decision to want to rejoin Aston Villa.

“We thank him for his service to the football club in the short time he has been here, and wish him every success at Villa Park and in the future.”

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