The Once Frustrating Harvey Barnes Shines Brightest for Leicester in Burnley Win

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Harvey Barnes was man of the match in Leicester's 4-2 win over Burnley
Harvey Barnes was man of the match in Leicester's 4-2 win over Burnley / Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Harvey Barnes' subtle rise from the new kid on the block to established Premier League player continued during Leicester's 4-2 win against Burnley on Sunday evening.

Not only did the the 22-year-old register a goal and an assist against the Clarets, his performance overall was indicative of a player on his way to becoming a superstar.

The sky-high potential has always been there for Barnes. Ever since he burst onto the scene at the beginning of last year, tongues have been wagging at the King Power Stadium. Pacy, skillful and refreshingly direct, he is a joyful footballer who plays with all the carefree enthusiasm of a kid knocking a ball about in his back garden.

Barnes managed six goals and eight assists in the Premier League last season
Barnes managed six goals and eight assists in the Premier League last season / Pool/Getty Images

Despite his evident talent with the ball, Barnes is also one of the frustrating players to watch in the country.

For all of his frightening talent on the ball, there remain serious concerns about his lack of end product. Nowhere was this more evident than in Leicester's 3-0 win over West Bromwich Albion last weekend.

Over the course of those 90 minutes, Barnes was exceptional, breezing past the Baggies defence time and time again. However, not for the first time, he failed to transfer make the most of his promising positions by turning them into goals. He had five shots in total, but did not score and also failed to register an assist.

Barnes was wasteful against West Brom
Barnes was wasteful against West Brom / Michael Regan/Getty Images

On Sunday, his lack of production was not a problem. With 20 minutes on the clock, he scuffed in Leicester's equaliser. It may not have been pretty - in fact it was downright ugly - but these are exactly the sort of goals that Barnes needs to scoring if he is to be considered an elite winger.

Overall, his finishing was much better. Nick Pope denied him a brace with some superb saves and on a different day another one of his three shots on target would have flown.

Creatively, Barnes also flourished. As well as assisting Dennis Praet's wonder-strike, the forward created two additional chances. He also registered two ball recoveries, showing his willingness to put in a shift defensively.

It was a performance worthy of praise and perhaps his greatest display in a Foxes shirt so far. Barnes has now racked up nine Premier League goal involvements since the turn of the year. Only the free-scoring Jamie Vardy has managed more.

All signs suggest that Barnes is nowhere near finished either. If he manages to keep up this level of production over the course of the season, a place in Gareth Southgate's England squad next summer is a genuine possibility.