Back in July of this year, Championship outfit West Brom secured a deal to sign Harvey Barnes on loan for the entirety of the 2018/19 campaign.
The young winger came up through the ranks at Midlands rivals Leicester City but has struggled to force his way into Claude Puel’s first team plans in recent years, to the point that he enjoyed loan spells at both MK Dons and Barnsley prior to signing for Darren Moore’s Baggies during the summer transfer window.
Yet his addition didn’t go down particularly well with these West Brom fans on Twitter, with several fuming with the club’s decision to lure the youngster to the Hawthorns…
Pointless signing… we need a centre half and a striker. Got 4/5 wingers already
— Daniel Arnold (@daniel_arnie) July 24, 2018
Wow not the Harvey Barnes #seriouslyunderwhelmed
— Stephen McClements (@stemciom) July 24, 2018
Is this a joke ? We’ve got Jon Leko yet we showcase other clubs talent? Probably a class player but come on shouldn’t we look after our own ?
— Nath (@NateOJackson) July 24, 2018
Shouldn’t Leko be getting a look in yet? Or Burke? give me strength….
— Russ Inns (@RussInns) July 24, 2018
nothing against the kid but if this is the best we can do we while be in the championship for a while
— albion (@Big_Jay1970) July 24, 2018
@WBA nothing against the kid Barnes but our motto is ’embrace the future’ he won’t be a part of it, we have our own players for the future.
— diz riz (@dizriz1) July 24, 2018
Screams of doing things on the cheap and its very worrying this is as good as it’s got so far!
— Adam Kidson (@adamkidson_) July 24, 2018
So Stoke sign a player for 12m and we’re getting a scrap loan from a mid table prem team?
Never change Albion.
— Omar (@Baggie_Saiyan) July 24, 2018
Yet Barnes has made a cracking start to life with the Baggies to suggest that Moore has pulled off a stunning transfer masterstroke in luring the 20-year-old to the Hawthorns.
Ultimately, the young winger shone in both prior loan spells at MK Dons and Barnsley to suggest that he was a gem just waiting to be unearthed, netting six times for the former in the 2016/17 season, before adding five for the Tykes last term but ultimately wasn’t able to inspire them to Championship safety.
Nonetheless, the 20-year-old’s stock rose ten-fold and West Brom sought to bring him to the Hawthorns during the summer, which has turned out to be an inspired decision by manager Moore given Barnes has been simply brilliant for the Baggies so far this season.
The England Under-21 international has scored five goals and laid on three assists in 15 Championship appearances for the club this term to help them to seventh place in the division, with strike duo Dwight Gayle and Jay Rodriguez the only men to have scored more for the Baggies this term.
In fact, Barnes has been doing so well at the Hawthorns that reports last month suggested that Leicester were interested in recalling him in January to help out with their Premier League campaign – that’s how impressive the 20-year-old has been so far this season.
Yes, things have gone quiet for West Brom in recent weeks with three defeats in their last four, and as such Moore will be looking to Barnes to try and get them out of that rut, but on the whole the 20-year-old has proven to be outstanding addition to the Baggies squad.
So while those West Brom fans weren’t overly convinced by the club’s decision to land the winger in the summer, it is looking more and more like a transfer masterstroke from manager Moore.
West Brom fans… what do you think? Let us know!