Those of you who followed our early-season advice relating to Harvey Barnes (£2.6m) have had an enjoyable Christmas.
The Leicester winger scored 21 points this Game Week, the best haul of any player (so far).
Goals against Man United and Crystal Palace have catapulted Barnes up the rankings.
Only three midfielders – Bruno Fernandes (£5.7m), Jack Grealish (£4.7m), Kevin De Bruyne (£6.4m) – have more points at the time of writing.
It’s no secret where his points have come from — he’s scored eight goals in all competitions this season.
In the Premier League, only two midfielders have scored more than the Foxes’ No15’s five: Fernandes and Wilfried Zaha (£3.2m).
And much like Nicolas Pepe (£4.4m), Barnes has enhanced his tally on Thursday nights with three goals in the Europa League group stages.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking Leicester’s goal threat starts and ends with Jamie Vardy (£6.3m) but you would be foolish to overlook Barnes’ threat — the pair are level in terms of league goals from open play in 2020/21.
We felt the need to repeat the case for selecting Barnes not only because he dominated the Game Week, but because he currently appears in just 3.7% of teams.
Adama Traore (£3.0m) is somehow more popular despite recently celebrating (not the right word) the one-year anniversary of his last league goal.
Some may be put off by Barnes’ lack of composure in the final, so much of his game hinges on pace and dynamism that it’s often difficult for him to revert to a cold-blooded finisher when shooting.
But that shouldn’t matter as long as he keeps manufacturing enough shooting opportunities — he has registered more efforts at goal in the league this season than Raheem Sterling (£6.9m), Son Heung-min (£5.3m) and Richarlison (£3.8m).
Gareth Southgate capped Barnes in October during England’s 3-0 win over Wales and the Three Lions gaffer will surely be considering the Leicester man for a spot at the Euros on current form.
Unfortunately for Barnes, he is up against stiff competition in the form of Sterling and Marcus Rashford (£5.3m) for a spot on the left-hand side of England’s front three.
But if he ends the season with 15+ goals, as he is on course to do, then there’s no reason we won’t see him in international action next summer.
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