Rodgers insists there’s still ‘so much more’ to come from in-form winger

News Desk
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers and winger Harvey Barnes

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers has claimed there is more to come from in-form winger Harvey Barnes.

Barnes made a slow start to the season, but has been a stand-out performer for the Foxes in recent weeks, scoring three goals in his last five appearances.

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The 24-year-old’s resurgence has been key to Leicester’s four-game winning run and they head to Arsenal on Sunday high on confidence.

Rodgers said: “I think at the beginning of the season it was more to do with his fitness, where he just couldn’t quite get to the level where he had been at.

“He didn’t quite make the impact in the games we would have liked because of that.

“But over recent weeks you can see his importance once again to the team and obviously the top-class player that he is and how well he’s been developing.

“He’s now on a regular basis scoring goals, creating goals, but he’s adding that work ethic, that mentality to press and win the ball back.

“While he’s still a player who is developing, I think there’s still so much more to come from him.”

Barnes took his goals tally to eight this season in all competitions with a high-quality winner in last week’s 1-0 home win against Leeds.

He also set up Marc Albrighton for the Foxes’ opening goal in Thursday night’s 2-0 Europa Conference League win against Rennes.

Rodgers said: “He’s a joy when you see him in full flow. He’s very direct, he wants to get at the opponent, with and without the ball, and what has improved has been his final pass.

“Whether that’s to lay it off, like for Marc (against Rennes), so that vision and awareness to see it, or his calmness in his finish.

“So it’s great, but he still knows we’re demanding more and he also demands more from himself and that’s important, that he has that hunger if he’s going to continue and develop even more as a top-class player.”

Leicester are bidding for a third straight league win to maintain their climb up the table, but face an Arsenal side whose own recent run has catapulted them into Champions League contention.

Rodgers added: “They’re a huge club and there’s an expectation from where they’ve been for over 20-odd years in the Champions League and obviously recently coming out of it and it’s been tough.

“But I think this season (manager) Mikel (Arteta) has done an excellent job. They’re in a really good position. They’ve got games in hand as well.

“So if they can keep their players fit and available and get that little bit of luck with injuries between now and the end of the season, then they should be in a really strong position to finish where they would want to, which is in the Champions League I’m sure.”