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Hammers’ huge Barkley boost

Aston Villa will be without Ross Barkley against West Ham on Monday night due to a hamstring injury.

And that is a serious blow for Dean Smith’s side.

Barkley and Jack Grealish have formed a devastating partnership for the side thus far this season, ripping Arsenal apart as they beat the Gunners 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium.

He has only scored once and laid on one assist – the goal came against Liverpool, the assist against the Gunners – but the pairing of the two is remarkably strong.

Grealish is, of course, the man who makes it all tick but when he is not occupying that No.10 spot, Barkley drifts into the space. The opposite is true too.

Barkley, of course, has the ability to play in central midfield and in attacking midfield and he has been an excellent signing for the club since his loan move from Chelsea.

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Per WhoScored, he averages 2.8 shots per game, 2.5 key passes, and 1.8 dribbles, while he is fouled 0.7 times per game.

Barkley also has a passing accuracy of 83.2% – this is a top player who looks to make things happen throughout the 90 minutes.

Villa are much poorer without him; the Hammers will be delighted he is out.

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About Dave Langton

A journalist with 10 years' experience of working on National newspapers, now chief reporter covering the club that I've loved since I was a boy. Upton Park remains the greatest football stadium ever built.