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Player Analysis: Harvey Barnes

Harvey Barnes – Who Is He? 

  • Name – Harvey Barnes 
  • Age – 12/09/1997 (23 years old)
  • Rookie Season / Team – 2017 / MK Dons 
  • Nationality – English 
  • International Caps (Goals) – 1 (0)
  • Position – Winger
  • Current Team / League – Leicester City / English Premier League 

Career Overview 

The son of Notts County, Stoke City and York City striker Paul Barnes, soccer was in Harvey Barnes’ blood, so it’s no surprise that he has found himself as a breakout player so far this season. Barnes was born in Burnley and grew up in Leicestershire, and he joined Leicester City’s academy in 2007. In June 2016, Barnes signed his first professional contract and made his first-team debut at the end of the year in a 5-0 loss against Porto in the UEFA Champions League. 

This was his only senior appearance for Leicester that year, although he performed well in the Under-23 team, scoring five and providing five assists. 

Still just 19, Barnes was not expected to come into the title winning squad, despite Leicester’s less-than-inspiring (but ultimately expected) title defense. He was loaned to MK Dons, scoring on his debut and finishing the season with six goals and winning Milton Keynes Young Player of the Year.   

The next season, Barnes joined Barnsley on loan but was recalled in the New Year. In April, he made his Premier League debut as a substitute in the 91st minute. In July 2018, Barnes signed a four-year contract with Leicester and was then loaned to West Bromwich Albion in the Championship. He scored an exceptional debut goal and finished the season with 9 league goals as West Brom finished in the play-off places, but lost to Aston Villa on penalties in the Play-Off semi-final. 

Barnes returned to Leicester in January 2019 and scored his first goal for the club in a 2-2 draw with West Ham in April, his only goal of the season. The 2019/20 season saw him find his footing in the Premier League, netting six goals and providing eight assists as Leicester finished fifth. 

His Season So Far 

Barnes has had a spectacular season so far and started well with a goal and assist in the second game against West Brom. However, he dropped off following this and didn’t find the net again until a month later in an away game to Leeds. His promise was enough to earn him an England call-up, and he made his debut as a substitute in the 3-0 Friendly win over Wales in October. 

The end of December is where Barnes came into form. He scored the first equalizer in the 2-2 draw against Manchester United on Boxing Day and followed this up with an 83rd minute equalizer against Fulham two days later. Since the beginning of 2021, he has chipped in with seven goal contributions (4G, 3A) in nine games. This has made him apparently indispensable, forming a fruitful partnership with both Jamie Vardy and James Maddison along the way, although he suffered a knee injury at the weekend that will keep him out for at least six week.

How Do His Stats Look?

If you take everything into consideration, Barnes’ stats are pretty good, especially when you remember he didn’t cost Leicester a penny. His time on loan showed glimpses of quality as he fine-tuned his skills, especially at West Brom where he scored nine and assisted eight in 28 games, giving him an average of 0.6 goal contributions per game. 

For Leicester City, he has shown his quality this season, with 13 goals and four assists in all competitions (including nine goals in the league). With 34 appearances, this gives him an average of 0.5 contributions per game, which is pretty much what you’d expect from a winger who has occasionally deputized in place of the injured Jamie Vardy. 

Overall, his career goals and assists for Leicester are not as impressive as this season, but this is because of inexperience and one-minute cameos early in his career. 

Why Has Harvey Barnes’ Value Increased? 

Every player wants to be considered the most valuable for their team. Of course, not everyone can share such an accolade, but it’s interesting to consider how and why a player’s value can rise (or fall) in relation to their real-world market value and soccer card value. For Barnes, there are several key reasons. 

  • Barnes has been an integral part of Leicester City’s squad this season with 13 goals in all competitions
  • This has helped Leicester to third-place, level on points with second-place Manchester United
  • His performances have created rumblings of a place in the Euro 2021 squad this summer
  • Increased interest in soccer cards
  • Increase interest in promising rookie cards

Harvey Barnes – Predictions for the Future 

  • Consistency: Barnes has established himself as a vital part of the Leicester City machine and this has allowed him to develop consistency that should only continue
  • Form: This consistency has helped him become one of the standout players this season and is level on goals with the likes of Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling
  • Club Form: Leicester City have shown they can hang with the big boys, even if their form has unexpectedly dipped at times during the season
  • Honors: Barnes was not part of the Leicester team that won the Premier League in 2016, but Rodgers has built a strong team that could challenge for trophies, although they have just been  eliminated from the Europa League, which will disappoint everybody at the club
  • International Performance: Although he only has one cap under his belt, Barnes’ form has put him in contention for a place in the Euro squad, although he has a lot of attacking talent to content with.

Barnes-stormer 

Brendan Rodgers has recently hinted at Harvey Barnes being the natural successor to Jamie Vardy should the talismanic striker ever decide to hang up his boots. If this season is anything to go on, Barnes could easily slot into that role, building on the partnership he has developed with James Maddison this season. 

This could be us getting ahead of ourselves, but with a range of young players, including Youri Tielemans, James Justin, and Maddison, the future looks bright for Leicester City, and Harvey Barnes. 

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