Merson, the former Arsenal and Villa playmaker, is a huge admirer of Barkley and he thinks the England international has the potential to embarrass Lampard.
Barkley decided to secure a loan to Villa Park in a bid to reignite his career and push for Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2021 squad.
But Merson thinks Lampard has taken a huge risk letting a player of his quality leave and is convinced he should be starting for the Blues.
‘What a signing that is. I can’t quite believe it, if I’m honest. 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.
‘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.
‘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.’