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Harvey Barnes hails benefits of loan spells

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Harvey Barnes has championed his loan spells amid claims Leicester will recall him in January – saying they have given him vital minutes on the pitch.

Harvey Barnes. (AMA)

The Foxes are weighing up whether to take Barnes back in January following his blistering start to the season at the Baggies.

However, both clubs insist a decision has not yet been made considering there is still nearly three months until the window opens.

And Barnes, who has already enjoyed temporary spells at MK Dons and Barnsley, says his loans have been a key factor in his development.

“For some players it works, others it might not,” he said. “I think for me the loans have worked really well.

“I feel it was the step I needed to take at the time, to get that first-team experience and get games under my belt.”

Albion are keen to keep Barnes for the rest of the season, and will try and convince Leicester to let him see out his loan, although the Baggies know the decision is out of their hands.

Leicester recalled Barnes from a season-long loan at Barnsley last term, but he only played eight minutes in the Premier League after that.

Foxes boss Claude Puel is watching his progress closely, but has not yet decided whether to recall him or not.

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Albion retain an interest in Blackburn Rovers midfielder Bradley Dack, who they bid for in the summer and could replace Barnes if necessary, but the 24-year-old's price-tag could put them off.

And Baggies boss Darren Moore has only just begun drawing up plans for the January window with new technical director Luke Dowling.

Barnes’s performances with the Baggies have earned him a first call-up to the England under-21 squad.

“It is a great time to be a youth England player because the opportunities are going to come if you are doing the business,” he said.

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“You’ve got to be doing it with your club and also when you get the chance to go into the international set-up you’ve got to be doing it there.

“I think all the young players know if they are doing it, that the first team manager (Gareth Southgate) is going to be looking down on them.”

Barnes has been called up to Aidy Boothroyd’s squad ahead of their European U21 qualifiers against Andorra and Scotland following Mason Mount’s promotion to the senior squad.

“It definitely shows that he is looking down the leagues as well for the quality in there,” said Barnes.

“For me, the first step was getting into the under-21s which I’ve done now.

“Hopefully I can go and put in a few good performances and who knows?”

Tosin Adarabioyo can also be recalled by Manchester City in January, but Dwight Gayle’s loan swap with Salomon Rondon is locked in for the season.

It’s been revealed Barnes was close to joining Championship rivals Leeds United on loan and had even picked a squad number for Marcelo Bielsa’s team before choosing Albion instead because it was closer to his home in Leicester.

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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