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Tartan Temptation: Newcastle Ace Reconsiders Allegiance

Harvey Barnes: Trading The Three Lions for Tartan?

Scotland’s Allure

From the fringes of England’s side to a prominent Scottish frontier, Harvey Barnes is reportedly pondering the leap. As Scotland stands at the cusp of Euro 2024 qualification, the allure of the tartan jersey grows stronger, providing Barnes with a tempting prospect.

Barnes’ International Journey

Barnes, currently dazzling the pitch for Newcastle United, might not be donning the Three Lions for much longer. At 25, he’s eligible to play for Scotland courtesy of his grandparents. Even though he previously sidestepped Scottish advances, circumstances have changed.

“The Newcastle United forward…is thought to be open-minded about a switch,” as reported by The Times.

Barnes’ brief stint with England witnessed him on the pitch for a mere 14 minutes during a friendly against Wales in October 2020. But following a setback in 2021, Barnes was sidelined, missing out on the rescheduled 2020 European Championship. To add to the complexities, he didn’t even make the initial list for the 2022 World Cup.

England’s Overflowing Talent Pool

With a staggering array of talent, Gareth Southgate is spoilt for choice. Names like Marcus Rashford, Raheem Sterling, Jack Grealish, and Eberechi Eze are ahead of Barnes in the battle for that coveted left-wing spot in England’s lineup.

But as one door closes, another opens. Scotland’s opportunity is knocking.

The Scottish Temptation

Steve Clarke, Scotland’s helm, has always admired Barnes. He even toyed with the idea of capping him back in 2019. Now, as Scotland revels in their imminent qualification, thanks to their impeccable 15 points from five matches, the pitch up north seems greener.

“Barnes may feel the time is right to pledge himself to the tartan cause,” especially given his form. Following a £38m move from Leicester City, Barnes has cemented his place with 13 Premier League goals.

Other Switches: Case in Point

Barnes need only look at Angus Gunn for inspiration. Gunn traded his England Under-21 keeper jersey for a Scotland one and now stands tall as their number one choice.

Elliot Anderson, Barnes’ teammate at Newcastle, too had expressed his desire to play for Scotland. Although a recent injury has raised questions about his international future, it underlines a trend: Scotland is on the rise, and players are noticing.

Final Thoughts

The beautiful game’s heart beats unpredictably. Barnes, at a crossroads, has decisions to make. While England might be where he started, Scotland could be where his story truly begins.

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