Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers has backed Harvey Barnes to gatecrash England’s European Championships squad.
The 22-year-old has become a star man in Rodgers’ Foxes team since he was appointed in February 2019.
The delayed Euros, postponed for a year amid the coronavirus pandemic, offers Barnes a chance to make a late case to Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate.
Raheem Sterling, Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood stand in Barnes’ way but Rodgers believes he can muscle in.
“For all English players that will be the aim and for Harvey it’s a realistic aim,” he said.
“The boys who are ahead of him are really talented players but Harvey has this incredible power he can sustain over a long distance.
“For him it’s about increasing his numbers, if he can get into double figures this year and makes a number of assists then he can be knocking on the door.
“He is a really gifted player.”
Barnes has made 144 appearances after loan spells at MK Dons, Barnsley and West Brom before he broke into the side at Leicester.
The 22-year-old played 42 times for the Foxes last term, scoring seven goals, and Rodgers believes his career choices are paying off.
“Each pathway is different. Some young players do want to go out and play but for a number of reasons they are still at the clubs,” he said.
“With the numbers of games he has played he’s got some really good experience. If you’re not a player like a Raheem Sterling who at 17 is straight into your first team then normally there’s a pathway for you.
“His has been near on perfect, dropping down the levels, becoming a man, feeling the pressure early and then working his way through to being at West Brom in the Championship.
“He is a joy to work with.”