We like to get opinions from fans who have one of our players on loan at their club, today we gain the view of Neil, from Proud Baggies – LGBT+ Supporters' Group of West Bromwich Albion FC
“As much as we were delighted to be asked to provide an update on Harvey Barnes’ progress thus far this season, it was also a sad reminder that he is, in fact, not ‘one of our own’ which in turn is a stark reminder that at some point it’s very likely that we will have to manage without him in whatever division we end up in for 2019/20!
When he arrived during the summer, most WBA will have known very little about him. A product of your Academy and having been on 2 loan spells with MK Dons and Barnsley and only making one 91st minute appearance in the Premier League to his name, he arrived at The Hawthorns with little or no expectations.
The first time we saw him in action was during a pre-season friendly in honour of Cyrille Regis vs. Coventry in the inaugural Regis Cup. Eight minutes in and two goals later, Harvey had well and truly arrived, and frankly, he’s never looked back!
Since then, he’s started every one of our 12 games so far this season, scored five goals, including a thunderous goal of the month winning opening day strike against Bolton and claimed two assists. More than that though, he’s epitomised the change that’s swept through the Club under the leadership of Darren Moore.
Playing in the middle of a 3-4-1-1 formation that with our two wing backs and two forwards provides a five man strike force and allows Harvey to have a relatively free reign going forwards. He’s most definitely at his best in attack with the ball at his feet and these days there’s always an air of expectation when he’s got the ball in the oppositions half!
That said, is he a fully rounded Premiership midfielder? Absolutely not. As I’ve said, with the ball and heading for goal he’s feared by most Championship teams but there’s work to be done still particularly in his defensive capabilities and work off the ball – key elements required for the top flight.
Such has his arrival at the club been heralded that there is near constant rumour and concern regarding the possibility of his loan spell being cut short and plenty of hope that we’ll be able to hang on to him after it’s over. And the plaudits are not just from fans either. Most of our local journalists have recognised his emerging talent with the general consensus being that he’s the most exciting talent currently in the Championship.”