In January Chelsea finally got their man, snapping up Ross Barkley from Everton. With his contract about to expire at the end of the season, Barkley joined the London side for a fee reported to be in the region of £15 million by The Independent.
But the move has not yet proved to be a success. Barkley has played just three times for the club since the move and has struggled to settle at Stamford Bridge.
It is time to start wondering if perhaps Barkley would be better off spending a season away on loan from Chelsea. He has struggled with injuries in recent times and needs a full season of first-team football to get back into his best rhythm.
Because a move to West Ham United would be perfect for Barkley to get the first-team football he needs.
Playing for West Ham would provide Barkley with the perfect coaching staff to help him return to his best. The West Ham manager, David Moyes, is the man who gave the midfielder his debut at Goodison Park.
His assistant Stuart Pearce is also a massive fan. He used him with the England under-21s and had often spoken of his talent. Alan Irvine, first-team coach for the Hammers, was Barkley’s coach in the Everton academy.
Barkley needs to be believed in to be at his best. Under Ronald Koeman at Everton, this often felt like an issue. Roberto Martinez however often got the best out of the attacking midfielder, when Barkley was at full fitness.
At Chelsea, it remains hard to see Barkley getting first-team football next season. A loan switch to West Ham would hand him the opportunity to work with Moyes, Pearce and Irvine again and, hopefully, play plenty of first-team football.
For the Hammers, it would see them bring in a top player. For Chelsea, it would allow them to see Barkley progress at another Premier League club and hopefully return in 2019 at somewhere near his best.
A move to West Ham this summer would be a win-win deal for Barkley, Chelsea and, in particular, the Hammers.