By Carl Markham, Press Association Sport
Published: 10:20 BST, 19 October 2020 | Updated: 10:26 BST, 19 October 2020
Aston Villa manager Dean Smith told Ross Barkley he would get him into England's squad for next summer's European Championships and the on-loan Chelsea midfielder has set about proving his new boss right.
Barkley, who turns 27 in December, has not featured for Gareth Southgate's squad for more than a year since scoring twice in the 6-0 win over Bulgaria.
His career appeared to be stagnating at Stamford Bridge but he was sold a new vision by Smith and, having made a temporary move at the end of the summer window, has responded by scoring in his first two matches for the club - his latest an added-time strike which secured a 1-0 win at Leicester on Sunday night.
Ross Barkley (left) was Aston Villa's matchwinner as they left it late to beat Leicester on Sunday
Dean Smith was full of praise for Barkley and revealed their conversation about England
That goal lifted Villa, who survived relegation by one point in July, to second in the Premier League table, helped in no small part by the likes of Barkley adding more dynamism to their midfield.
'He's a high-calibre player. I'm thankful to Chelsea that they've loaned him to us,' said Smith of the Liverpool-born former Everton midfielder.
'I sold him the project here and told him I'll get him in the Euros squad and he's going to try and help us win football games. He's certainly done that in his first couple.
'He couldn't have started better. Being a Blue, getting that win and scoring against the Reds (in a 7-2 win before the international break) and then getting that in the 91st minute couldn't have been a better start for him or us.