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Is Harvey Barnes an FPL Bargain or Burden? The Pros and Cons of Owning £6.5M Newcastle Asset

Is Harvey Barnes an FPL Bargain or Burden? The Pros and Cons of Owning £6.5M Newcastle Asset

Newcastle United stamped their ground as possible Premier League title contenders with an amazing start to their 2023/24 season with a 5-1 thrashing of a stacked Aston Villa side, in which debutant Harvey Barnes proved just why he can be an asset in the Fantasy Premier League this time.

After playing in six Premier League campaigns with Leicester City, Barnes appears to have hit the ground running in the latest campaign with the Magpies in rather spectacular fashion. He only played 22 minutes in his league debut for them, but absolutely ransacked the Aston Villa backline during his time on the pitch.

Barnes came on and immediately produced an assist for fellow super-sub Callum Wilson, whose goal definitely calmed the nerves of the FPL managers that dished out an 8.0 price for him. The ex-Leicester man created a number of other chances but could not see them finished, so he went all the way to make it 5-1 towards the end and get his first goal for Newcastle.

How 6.5 Harvey Barnes stands out from his competitors

The 25-year-old has been an underrated player in the league for many years and is now playing with a team on the rise. He has the attributes and skills to not only help Newcastle take a step forward from last season, but also be a possible smart pick that can remain in your FPL for a long, long time.

Now, for some, the 6.5 price could make this pick a little bit iffy – mostly because Barnes doesn’t appear to be a regular starter under Eddie Howe yet. Indeed, the likes of Kaoru Mitoma, Eberechi Eze, Moussa Diaby at the same price range is enticing because they’re almost guaranteed to start every game for their respective sides.

With that being said, Barnes does come with a somewhat guaranteed to make things happen because he’s excelled in the league with a Leicester side that have been on a downward spiral in recent years.

Over the last four season, Barnes has averaged in double-digit goal contributions for Leicester in the Premier League. Last season, he scored 13 goals in 32 starts, his personal best so far in his career. Only Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka, Mo Saslah, Marcus Rashford and Gabriel Martinelli were among the (FPL) midfielders to outscore him.

Barnes’ menacing playing style and impactful nature can bring big rewards

The 26-year-old could now be considered to be at the peak, or at least nearing the peak of his career. That would mean that not only Newcastle, but FPL managers can benefit from him performing at his highest level.

Barnes has a really menacing playing style. He often times his runs to perfection to burst past defenders into the empty spaces and is very clever with his final product, knowing exactly when it square it to a teammate or take the shot himself – as proven in his amazing display against Villa.

He is quick, possesses impressive dribbling ability and can only benefit with the quality of talent around him at Tyneside. There is the case of the competition for that left-wing role at Newcastle with the in-form Anthony Gordon, but don’t forget the importance of a super-sub in the new injury-time format in the Premier League.

Indeed, substitutes that come on after the 60th or 70th minute from now can be a major asset for any FPL team – as long as they have a high chance of making things happen in the attack. As he proved in his Newcastle debut, Barnes can definitely do that.

His playing style is actually tailor-made to torment exhausted defenders, especially those teams that play with a high backline. He loves running into the empty spaces, burst into the final third in the final minutes of the game – before being able to create big chances or get at the end of goal-scoring opportunities himself.

As a result, even if he is brought on from the bench, Barnes has a higher chance of contributing a goal than many around his price range. He also seems to have developed great chemistry with Wilson already, with this combination being one to watch out for as the season progresses as well.

Possible downside to owning Barnes

The only possible hiccup one could have in terms of picking the 26-year-old winger is that he’s currently not a guaranteed starter at Newcastle and it appears that Eddie Howe is slowly implementing him into his system.

Now, Barnes will not have it as easy as he did against Villa in the next games when he comes on as a substitute. The likes of Manchester City, Brighton or Brentford will not give him that much space or time he needed to get two quick-fire goal contributions in the last 20 minutes against the Villans.

In more than one way, the Englishman might’ve placed a target on his back with his super-sub display. Teams will now be more careful in dealing with him and could look to mark the winger out of the game, which could hamper his ability to consistently contribute to goals.

With that being said, Barnes has proven himself as quite the unpredictable and fearless individual in recent seasons – who doesn’t let predictability set into his game. The 26-year-old keeps on trying new things and being more innovative through the left, which means he can keep the biggest opponents guessing.

The Englishman is likely to only get better and better as the season progresses, which means keeping him as your 6.5 midfielder for the entirety of the campaign might not be a bad idea knowing his consistency and rate at contributing goals.