Leicester City manager Claude Puel has ended rumours of youngster Harvey Barnes being recalled by confirming he will stay out on loan until the end of the season.
Barnes is on a season-long loan at Championship club West Bromwich Albion, after signing a new four-year contract with Leicester. The 20-year-old has already impressed at the Hawthorns, with five goals and two assists in 12 league outings.
Plan is for Harvey Barnes to stay for campaign at #wba, says Claude Puel: 'It is not normal priority to come back in the middle of the season. It would be better for him to continue this way at West Brom.' #lcfc— Laurie Whitwell (@lauriewhitwell) October 21, 2018
Speaking in his pre-match press conference before their Monday night fixture against Arsenal, Puel said (as per Leicestershire Live): “It is not normal priority to come back in the middle of the season. It would be better for him to continue this way at West Brom.
“For the moment it is a good opportunity to continue his way, with good intensity, good focus, to find good consistency, to continue to improve.”
Barnes has been at the Foxes since he was nine, making his Premier League debut in April in the 0-0 draw against Southampton. He also earned his first call-up for the England U-21 side last week, making his debut in their 2-0 win over Scotland on Tuesday night.
“If we have a problem in the squad, why not? We don’t know what can happen in the transfer window but my priority is for him to remain [at West Brom].
“He is a young player, he is in a good place. He can continue to improve.”
West Brom were confident that they could keep Barnes at the club for the duration of his loan spell, although his contract does include a clause allowing an early return to the King Power Stadium.
After being relegated from the Premier League for the first time in eight years, West Brom currently sit third in the Championship, just a point off first place Middlesbrough. However their seven-game unbeaten run was ended yesterday, as they lost 1-0 to Wigan Athletic.
Leicester currently sit 10th in the Premier League, with four wins and four losses. They travel to the Emirates to face Arsenal on Monday night, before hosting West Ham on 27 October.