HomeFeatured ArticlesWhy Harvey Barnes Might Be Newcastle's Best Bet - Opinion

Why Harvey Barnes Might Be Newcastle’s Best Bet – Opinion

Harvey Barnes: The Next King Power Stadium Exit?

After James Maddison swapped Leicester for London, joining Tottenham for a reported fee of £40mil, it appears that next out the door at the King Power stadium will be Harvey Barnes.

Barnes, like Maddison, was one of few very bright spots in a miserable season for the Foxes that saw them relegated just seven years after winning the Premier League title and just two seasons removed from back-to-back campaigns where they finished in the top five.

Barnes scored 13 goals for Leicester last season, ending their campaign as top scorer. He finished 3 clear of Maddison and five clear of anyone else in the squad, all while playing in wide areas.

Beyond The Wide Player: Barnes’ Versatility

But to tag him as just a wide player would be doing him a disservice. Barnes has, over his career, also played through the middle and in midfield. He’s equally comfortable on either side of the pitch, though has shown a preference for the left which allows him to cut infield onto his right foot.

A powerful runner, Barnes thrives in transition and has an explosive burst of pace that allows him to beat defenders in all areas. Despite only tallying 3 assists in all competitions last season, he’s also a selfless player. He racked up 14 assists in 21/22 and nine in 19/20. If used properly he has shown the ability to be a 10 goal, 10 assist wide player. Last season only Mohamed Salah and Bukayo Saka achieved that. Barnes is not the same calibre of player, but he can be very effective.

Photo: IMAGO

Newcastle’s Smart Strategy Under Eddie Howe and Dan Ashworth

Newcastle have gone about their team building in a very methodical manner under Eddie Howe and Dan Ashworth. While many expected them to throw money around, as was the case when Chelsea and Manchester City first got untold wealth, Toon have resisted the urge. They have built sensibly, with some additions made with immediate improvement in mind, and others made with an eye on building a title-winning team.

Kieran Trippier and Dan Burn are examples of the former, while Bruno Guimaraes, Aleksandr Isak, Sven Botman, and Sandro Tonali are examples of the latter.

There is a third group though, a group of players who will help improve the Toon right now and could potentially be starters in a title-winning side down the road, but more likely are valuable squad players. Nick Pope and Anthony Gordon fit into that category. Barnes would join them.

Barnes: A Consistent and Productive Addition

Barnes is not as talented as Allan Saint-Maximin, but he’s more consistent and more productive. Barnes can be relied on to do what the manager asks of him to the best of his ability, week in and week out. He will bring goals, creativity, hard work, and a willingness to sacrifice for his teammates. Those are traits that will appeal to Eddie Howe. Barnes and Gordon either side of Isak could also be an explosive front three that, in time, causes huge problems for Premier League teams.

While they might need to upgrade again on Barnes when the time comes that Newcastle are ready to really challenge for the big prizes, there is no doubt that he improves them right away and if he continues to improve, he is only 25, there’s no reason he couldn’t be a fixture in a team who wins major honours.

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