HomeFeatured ArticlesWhy Newcastle United are signing Harvey Barnes

Why Newcastle United are signing Harvey Barnes

Barnes: A Magpie on the Horizon

Harvey Barnes is closing in on a move to Newcastle United, after a few weeks of slow movement on the deal. Leicester City were always likely to sell their academy graduate, due to their relegation. The winger would have wanted to stay in the Premier League and this move allows him to move up to the next level. West Ham United and Tottenham were also linked with a move, but Eddie Howe’s side have seemingly been the frontrunners for a number of weeks.

Out with the Old, In with the New

It looks like Allan Saint-Maximin has been moved out to allow the signing of Harvey Barnes, with the Frenchman set for a move to Saudi Arabia. Due to their FFP concerns, this is a decision that has been taken by Newcastle. They will view Barnes as a better fit for their system and the trading should allow them to strengthen in other areas of the pitch.

Although Saint-Maximin has been a popular member of the Newcastle squad, he was never fully trusted by Eddie Howe. For many matches last season, the manager opted for Joelinton in the left-winger role. There were injuries suffered by Saint-Maximin, but he was available for a lot of the season. He only played 1119 minutes and 13 of his 25 appearances came as a substitute.

High Hopes for Barnes at Newcastle

It will be expected that Barnes will be viewed as the starting left winger in the Newcastle squad, once he has settled in the club. Howe has been reluctant to throw new signings into the starting eleven. This is predominantly due to the trust he has in the existing players, while the Magpies’ have a high-intensity style of play. It takes time for new signings to adjust and fully understand the patterns of play.

Some have been underwhelmed by the decision to replace Saint-Maximin with Barnes, but a quick look at their respective outputs underlines why it has been made. During his four seasons on Tyneside, Saint-Maximin has contributed 12 goals and 18 assists in the Premier League. These came at a rate of a goal involvement every 245.8 minutes.

During the same period, Barnes has contributed 34 goals and 23 assists. He averaged a goal involvement every 155.6 minutes. This is a much better output and it will be that consistency that Howe wants in his attack.

Barnes: A Beacon Amid Struggles

Last season, he scored 13 times in a team that were eventually relegated. Barnes continued to offer a big threat in the final third and didn’t allow his own output to fall off, despite the team’s struggles.

Newcastle have been moving to a different style under Howe. This relies less on the individual brilliance of the players and focuses more on patterns of play. For a player like Saint-Maximin, it wasn’t a natural fit. He wanted to drop deep to run at the opposition defence. His greatest strength was his dribbling and direct approach.

Barnes: Fitting into Howe’s Strategy

They played better football when they had Joelinton in that role, as he carried out the tactical role that Howe wanted. Barnes should be able to do a similar role and his end product is much better. Newcastle need more goals outside of Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson. Barnes is a great option to provide that.

This is a good chance for Barnes to take his game to a new level for a team competing in the Champions League.

More News


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here