Reports are coming out that Leeds United were close to signing Leicester City’s midfielder Harvey Barnes on loan. It is believed that the Whites even prepared for a medical at Elland Road but somehow the move didn’t go through and in the end, the player decided to join West Brom.
The attacking midfielder cum winger has contributed with five goals and three assists so far in all competitions, and the Leicester City academy product happens to be the focal point in attack for Darren Moore’s side.
Squad depth is one of the things the current United team is lacking a bit. Barnes would have been an ideal like for like replacement for Samuel Saiz who has struggled to come up with the goods in the last few games. It is not yet clear why the move didn’t go through, but if a medical was prepared, then one can assume that the deal was in advanced stages.
Even last season, the England u-20 international had a loan spell in the Championship with Barnsley where he looked decent. He was called back in January to the King Power Stadium as maybe the club feared losing someone like Riyad Mahrez in the transfer window.
Barnes would have thrived in a Bielsa system as he likes to play direct football and doesn’t ponder too much when on the ball. His decision making and ability to finish the move is somewhat better than some of the Whites’ attacking players, and maybe Barnes would have provided that much-needed cutting edge in the final third which the West Yorkshire outfit has lacked in the last few games. Plus Bielsa would have been able to stop their direct promotion rivals like West Brom from strengthening so going after him would have been a win-win situation on all the fronts.
Bielsa has a similar player like him in the eleven in the form of Izzy Brown but the Chelsea man is not yet fit, and we don’t see him making an appearance up until January. Maybe Brown was the second alternative after the Whites failed to get their hands on Barnes.
There are some reports which are doing the rounds that the youngster could be recalled back by Leicester in January once again like last year. However, the Foxes have enough talent in the final third, and he is likely to find it tough to get regular game time in the Premier League.
If the Englishman goes back, then United might be smiling slyly somewhere, but if he stays and continues to do well, then they might be repenting the decision of not going in all out for this talented attacking midfielder in the summer.
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