Newcastle: Howe eyes move for Harvey Barnes
The Leicester City star could see Allan Saint-Maximin’s time with Newcastle come to an end.
Newcastle United are looking to continue their rapid rebuild this summer ahead of their long-awaited return to Champions League football and now a new update has emerged on their pursuit of Harvey Barnes.
Is Harvey Barnes leaving Leicester?
According to The Telegraph, Newcastle are interested in signing the Leicester City winger this summer.
As per the report, Eddie Howe is keen to add a left winger to his squad during the transfer window and is particularly interested in the services of Barnes.
Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United are also named as potential competitors for the attacker’s signature over the coming weeks as Leicester are preparing to lose their talisman due to their relegation from the Premier League last season
How good is Harvey Barnes?
Despite a huge Saudi-led takeover that made the Tyneside club the richest in the world just 18 months ago, Howe has benefited from the presence of many players who were already playing key roles.
The likes of Callum Wilson, Joelinton, Fabian Schar, Sean Longstaff and Miguel Almiron have all become mainstays at St James’ Park during the former Bournemouth boss’ first full season in charge – earning a spot inside the Premier League top four which has led to Champions League football next season and competing in the first final of a major trophy since 1999.
However, not everybody has benefited from Howe’s strong development of the squad with Allan Saint-Maximin finding his game-time limited to accommodate players who have become more trusted components in the manager’s system and tactical philosophy.
As a result, it has led to wide speculation that the Frenchman could leave the club this summer with interest from both Premier League clubs and the Saudi Pro League too, which could ultimately pave the way for Barnes to push him further out of the first team and into the clutches of another club.
Despite Leicester’s devastating drop into the Championship last season, Barnes was consistently a standout performer for the Foxes throughout the season and has always displayed an unwavering work ethic in the final third.
Over 187 appearances for Leicester, the 25-year-old – who has a reported price tag of £35m – has scored 45 goals and registered 32 assists, with a goal contribution every 177 minutes. That is an impressive output when considering his diverse skill set.
The Burnley-born talent has been the recipient of high praise over his career so far with Jurgen Klopp a huge admirer of the winger and what he offers on the pitch:
“Barnes is probably one of the biggest talents, I’m not sure if he is respected or appreciated as much as he should be, he is an unbelievable player to be honest, a proper Leicester product.”
As per FBref, when comparing Barnes to both Saint-Maximin and Anthony Gordon over last season, the Englishman outperformed both in a number of key attributes including shots on target per 90 (1.13), shots on goal per 90 (2.39), goal contributions (14) and crosses completed (44), proving that he could be a valuable asset and a potential upgrade on Howe’s current options on the wide left.
With that being said, Barnes is definitely one to watch for Newcastle this summer, and it will be interesting to see whether his arrival at St James’ Park sparks a move away for Saint-Maximin as he would be one of the first starting players to make an exit during Howe’s reign so far.