Aston Villa exclusive: Pundit predicts £16m signing has been told he's cover

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While it's been a relatively slow transfer window thus far, Aston Villa have made one of the biggest moves yet with the £16m signing of Morgan Sanson. 

Joining a midfield already boasting the likes of John McGinn, Douglas Luiz and Ross Barkley, the former Marseille man is another exciting option to an engine room of some repute as it is. 

Speaking about the deal in an exclusive interview with GIVEMESPORT, former England international Carlton Palmer has delivered his verdict on the addition. 

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With Barkley's future up in the air following the managerial change at Chelsea, Palmer has suggested Sanson's arrival is to cover the loan star. 

"I've done a bit of research and he's a combative midfielder," he said of the player. 

"Ross Barkley misses a lot of football matches, so I think Dean Smith is giving himself that extra bit of cover. 

"Barkley seems to have found a home there but his record says he does miss a lot of games. 

"I assume he's [Sanson] been told he's coming in as cover, so yeah, it's a good bit of business. 

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GIVEMESPORT's Jonathan Gorrie says...

Planning for life without Barkley - whether it be through injury or an eventual return to his parent club - does make sense. 

Clearly, given his impact, there must be a desire to keep him. According to WhoScored, Barkley averages the highest number of shot per game (2.8) in the Villa squad and trails only Jack Grealish for key passes over the same period (2.1) 

Still, he has already missed nine games this season and, with Thomas Tuchel in at Stamford Bridge, his long-term future remains unclear. 

With that in mind, Sanson does look like good business. While his average in terms of key passes and shots per game is slightly lower (1.1 and 1.4 going off last season's performance) they would still see him rank seventh and fifth respectively in the Villa squad right now. 

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