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Paul Merson believes Frank Lampard has made a ‘dangerous’ transfer mistake

Paul Merson believes Chelsea manager Frank Lampard will regret the decision to let midfielder Ross Barkley join Aston Villa on loan this season.

Barkley has had an up-and-down spell at Stamford Bridge since he joined from Everton in 2017, with his form regularly inconsistent.

He has been allowed to spend the season at Villa Park to gain valuable playing time and potentially give him a chance of breaking into the England squad for Euro 2021.

But writing in his column for the Daily Star, Merson stated his belief that Barkley is good enough to be a first-team regular at Chelsea.

"What a signing that is. I can’t quite believe it, if I’m honest," Merson said. "How Barkley doesn’t get in the Chelsea team beats me. He is a huge talent.

"To let him go like this, especially to another Premier League team, is a dangerous game by Frank. If Barkley hits the ground running and starts ripping it up for Villa then serious questions will be asked why Lampard let him go."

Merson has been unconvinced by what he has seen from Chelsea so far this season, and thinks if Barkley is a hit at Villa the pressure will be turned up even more on Lampard.

"Chelsea have already gone out of one of the cups and they have looked hit and miss so far in the league despite spending all that money," he continued.

"They are still not defending well and Frank won’t need any extra pressure on him from Ross Barkley tearing things up at Villa Park.

"Chelsea have loads of midfielders. But Jorginho and Matteo Kovacic can’t go past people like Ross Barkley can.

"I think they are missing a trick letting him go on loan. I’m shocked they’ve let it happen. But it’s a brilliant signing by Villa."

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