Harvey Barnes

Barnes’ Brilliance – How The Academy Graduate Continues To Grow Under Rodgers

Harvey Barnes was a shining light during 2020/21, carrying forward his impressive previous season with further displays of his ability at the highest level.
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Nine Premier League goals positions Barnes third in Leicester’s 2020/21 goalscoring charts and as the Club’s highest scoring midfielder - despite only playing 25 times, while only three players contributed more than his four assists during league fixtures. 

An improvement on scoring seven and assisting nine in 42 games during his breakthrough campaign of 2019/20 - his debut full season of Premier League football - Barnes quickly became an integral member of Brendan Rodgers’ attack.

The 23-year-old got off the mark on the opening home game of the 2020/21 season, drilling in the first goal of a 4-2 victory over Burnley at King Power Stadium and would also break the deadlock at Elland Road in a 4-1 success against Leeds United in November.

European goals were also on the agenda, too, and on Leicester’s UEFA Europa League debut, a 3-0 win, Barnes effortlessly dribbled his way past two Zorya Luhansk defenders on his way to scoring against the Ukrainian side.

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Harvey Barnes
Harvey Barnes

Striking for goal in Braga to help seal qualification out of the group stages of the UEFA Europa League.

By this point, Barnes had already made his senior England debut, in a 3-0 win over Wales at Wembley Stadium in October 2020 and the rising talent looked to be consistently developing his influence on games with some superb solo goals. 

On the night City secured qualification to the knockout stages of the competition, in Portugal, it was Barnes who restored parity early on with a well taken first-time finish, cancelling out SC Braga’s opener before eventually drawing 3-3.

And his third Europa League group stage goal, confirming victory over AEK Athens and sealing top spot in Group G, continued a 100 per cent record on home soil in European matches during 2020/21.

Returning to league action, a late consolation against Fulham may have mattered little to the result, but the Lancashire-born wideman soon produced two crucial strikes over the Christmas period to secure back-to-back draws.

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Harvey Barnes
Harvey Barnes

Celebrating a late third against Liverpool at King Power Stadium.

Firstly against Manchester United, Barnes hammered home a superb left-footed effort to draw the Foxes level, before another left-footed drive just two days later rescued a point away at Crystal Palace late on.

The England international was fast becoming a man for the big occasion and would soon score in successive games once more, netting the final goal of the 4-0 Emirates FA Cup triumph at Stoke City.

This, ahead of his maiden Premier League goal of 2021, coming in the final minute of a 2-0 home win over Southampton to reach double figures for goals in all competitions.

Though his opener against Leeds United came in eventual defeat on Filbert Way, two massive goals wrapped up all three points in consecutive Premier League victories during February.  

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Youri Tielemans & Harvey Barnes
Youri Tielemans & Harvey Barnes

Youri Tielemans congratulates the England international following his strike against Aston Villa.

The former West Bromwich Albion loanee completed a memorable turnaround against champions Liverpool, latching onto Wilfred Ndidi’s through ball to effortlessly slot it into the corner with the confidence and clinical nature of a seasoned professional.

Also finding the winner at Villa Park, with what would prove to be his final goal of the campaign, he showed his poachers instinct to pounce when Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martínez spilled Jamie Vardy’s powerful effort in the six-yard box.  

His pace, direct running and finishing ability set the league alight in the first half of the campaign, leading to being nominated for the EA Sports Player of the Month award for February, before a knee injury cruelly ruled him out from March onwards.

Barnes’ next Leicester City appearance will be his 100th. In that time, he’s scored a total of 21 goals and assisted 15 more, with the majority of those coming in the Premier League.

There’s sure to be plenty more to come from the tricky winger in 2021/22.

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