Leicester City supporters have been pretty downbeat in recent times after seeing their side suffer a fourth Premier League defeat of the season at the weekend.
Claude Puel’s men went into their encounter with Everton at the King Power Stadium having won each of their previous two league matches, getting past Huddersfield Town and Newcastle United to thus be full of confidence ahead of the visit of Marco Silva’s Toffees. Yet it was the visitors who came away from the clash on Saturday with all three points as goals from Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson either side of a Ricardo Pereira equaliser sealed a 2-1 success for Everton, thus moving them level on points with Puel’s Foxes in the Premier League table.
As such, there have been many disappointed Leicester fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have taken to Twitter recently to have their say on the form of Harvey Barnes, who is currently on loan from the Foxes at Championship side West Brom.
And reports suggest that Puel’s side are keen on recalling him in January, yet Leicester fans on Twitter don’t believe that that would be the right course of action – and they are absolutely spot on as regular game time at the Hawthorns is of huge benefit to Barnes, and something that simply cannot be guaranteed at Leicester.
Ultimately, the 20-year-old made the move to Darren Moore’s Baggies during the summer in a bid for the first team football he was unlikely to get at the King Power Stadium, having appeared just six times for the Foxes senior team in his career to date.
And with loan spells at MK Dons and Barnsley in the last two seasons, it’s pretty clear that the young winger is still some way down the pecking order at the Midlands club, although he has certainly proven his worth to West Brom this term, hence the reports that Leicester are keen on recalling him come the New Year.
Barnes has scored five goals and laid on two assists for Moore’s Baggies to help them to second place in the Championship table, so it’s obvious that the England Under-20 international is in form and playing well, and as such could be an asset to Leicester boss Puel in the second half of the season.
However, there has to be doubts about whether the 20-year-old would get the same level of game time at Leicester in comparison to what he is currently getting at West Brom, with the Foxes reasonably well-stocked in the forward ranks.
Yes, he would no doubt add another accomplished option for Puel to utilise in the second half of the season, but the winger would most likely be sitting on the bench waiting for his opportunity, as opposed to continuing to play regularly at West Brom – while he is playing well, the Foxes shouldn’t change anything.
Thus, there is a clear risk to his development were he to come back to the King Power Stadium in January, which is entirety against the point of the loan spell in the first place – West Brom are doing exactly what Leicester would have hoped for when they loaned them Barnes back in the summer, and as such they should continue to let them do just that.
As such, while there are obvious benefits to recalling the 20-year-old in January, those Leicester fans calling for Puel to opt against that decision in the New Year are absolutely spot on.
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