During Brendan Rodgers’ first full season as manager, the Foxes have backed up their pre-season preparations in France and England with back-to-back draws against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea.
Barnes had come off the bench against the former and would do so again versus Chris Wilder’s Blades in a bid to help City secure their first success of the 2019/20 Premier League campaign.
The Academy graduate’s introduction on 64 minutes proved to be crucial.
After Jamie Vardy’s first of 23 goals in 2019/20 opened the scoring in south Yorkshire, the hosts restored parity through a no.9 of their own – Oli McBurnie.
However, two minutes later, Rodgers made a decision that would ultimately turn the game in his side’s favour. On to the sun-drenched Sheffield pitch walked 21-year-old Barnes.
The winger’s route to the first team came to fruition in December 2016, when in a UEFA Champions League clash with FC Porto, Barnes made his senior debut.
A product of City’s Academy, Barnes has been with the Club since the age of nine.
Then came hugely productive loan spells in the Football League, starting at MK Dons and then moving on to Barnsley and West Bromwich Albion.
At the beginning of 2019, Barnes returned from his loan spell at the Hawthorns and featured in a string of Premier League matches before netting a last-minute equaliser against West Ham United in April.
Working with Rodgers and his backroom staff in pre-season for the first time last summer allowed the Countesthorpe-based attacker to showcase his talents in an intense environment designed to analyse how each player is shaping up ahead of the new campaign.
And when Rodgers turned to Barnes’ services just after McBurnie’s leveller at Bramall Lane, he knew what he was getting.
He would inject direct running, width and, crucially, an eye for goal into the game, but few could have expected the type of strike that arrived on 70 minutes.
Harvey Barnes vs. Sheffield United
A rocket from Leicester City Academy graduate Harvey Barnes to secure our 2-1 victory at Sheffield United.
There was no need to look up at the goal. In a split second, he judged the ball’s trajectory, picked his spot and unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner.
Dean Henderson, who had an outstanding 2019/20 season, could only watch on as the ball flew past him, and could have easily made the frame of his goal airborne.
Barnes scored what proved to be the winner right in front of the Blue Army, whose celebrations were somewhat delayed due to the unexpected and barely believable nature of the effort.
It won him the August Premier League Goal of the Month accolade, as well as the Club’s Goal of the Season award – as voted for by City’s supporters.
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