Leicester City shared the spoils with Leeds United at Elland Road in the Premier League. The picture-perfect strike from Barnes against Leeds was his 15th Premier League goal involvement since the start of last season. The 23-year-old has 10 goals and five assists during that period, with his numbers looking all the more impressive by the fact that he spent a chunk of the matches out injured. Barnes made his England debut against Wales in October 2020 and looked to be well in the contention for Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad until he got injured. He signed a new deal with Leicester in the summer but has gained interest from some of England’s big guns.
It has been more than a year since the Leicester midfielder made his only England appearance after a knee injury ended any hope he had of getting shortlisted in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the Euros. But here at Elland Road, Barnes proved he was back, and it is a sight which will have been welcomed by Southgate as much as it was by his Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers.
The above visual shows us the attacking and creativity stats for Harvey Barnes in the 2021-22 season. The stats indicate that Barnes has been highly successful in the attacking actions that he has attempted, and almost all the metrics are much higher than the median league value. Barnes has attempted an average of 7.39 dribbles per 90 minutes and lies in the 97th percentile for the same. Barnes has a blistering pace and can dribble through opposition players with ease. He has also attempted 12.75 offensive duels per 90 minutes and lies in the 91st percentile in the league.
Barnes has been playing on the left flank under Brendan Rogers, and is the most threatening from that side of the pitch. Barnes is a right-footed player and playing on the left side of the pitch gives him the advantage of cutting inside and taking a crack at the goal. As seen in the above visual, almost all of his shots have been from the left flank inside the penalty area, with only two shots coming from the right side of the goal.
Barnes’ moment of magic came just 73 seconds after Leeds had taken the lead, and his three touches demonstrated his terrific talent. Leicester responded immediately from kick-off and launched the ball forward. Boubakary Soumare flicked the ball onto Barnes, and the nifty winger did the rest. He cut inside from the left flank and bent a gorgeous effort into the top corner. Leeds goalkeeper, Meslier, could only watch as the ball flew in, with Barnes celebrating like someone who knew they had just scored one of the best goals of his career. Barnes had a very high threat from his dribbles in the game against Leeds. He was able to get into threatening positions on the pitch as he dribbled past the Leeds defenders, but could not find the right pass in the penalty area.
Barnes has been highly involved in the build-up play and also when Leicester rotate the ball in periods when they dominate possession. He has a high number of passes backward towards his own goal to his left-back. Barnes is most effective in the final third as he can provide great balls into the penalty area, and with someone like Jamie Vardy in the penalty area, there’s always a chance to score if a good ball is delivered inside the box. He has a high xT from the passes he has played into the final third and the opposition penalty area.
Leicester have not found the form they had last season and are struggling in the Premier League with only 15 points from 11 games and are currently 12th in the league table. The point away at Elland Road was a good one for Leicester, although the Foxes might consider themselves rather unfortunate not to have come away with all three points as they had a goal disallowed after VAR ruled it out as an offside.
It has been a difficult time for Barnes recently. There has been the recovery from a double knee operation that forced him to miss the European Championship and a loss of form that led to him being left on the sidelines this season, just when Leicester City hit some form. But Barnes seemed to be up and running against Leeds, and we can expect some great performances in the upcoming games.