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John Barnes discusses all things Premier League with Bonuscodebets

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We recently caught up with former Liverpool winger John Barnes who dived into all things Premier League from Cole Palmer to the form of Phil Foden to the future of Brentford striker Ivan Toney.

In this article:

  • Chelsea could be a better team without Palmer
  • Foden is a favourite to win the PFA Player of the Season
  • Rice is an upgrade on Thomas Partey
  • Odegaard is Arsenal’s Kevin De Bruyne
  • Arsenal or Tottenham is the ideal next move for Toney

Chelsea could be a better team without Palmer

The general consensus this season has been where would Cheslea be without Cole Palmer. Palmer surprisingly opted to leave Manchester City last summer and went on to join Chelsea in a £42.5million deal. At City, he was part of a squad filled with world-class talents, which made breaking into the first team on a regular basis a challenging task for young players. Palmer allegedly wanted a loan move from Manchester City which City rejected, hence him asking for a move to which Chelsea obliged. And he has returned the favour. Palmer has registered 21 goals and 12 assists in 39 matches so far in an impressive first season in West London. Whilst Barnes has been impressed by Palmer he questions the idea that Chelsea would be worse off without the attacker.

“Well has anyone considered that if Cole Palmer wasn’t playing and someone else was, could Chelsea be better off? We don’t know. They could be higher up the league. It’s not a question of individual players where we say if he wasn’t playing Chelsea would be worse off because we just don’t know.

“We do know he is playing well for Chelsea but remember when Coutinho was at Liverpool and he was their best player. Then Coutinho and Liverpool became a better team.

“We can’t say if Cole Palmer wasn’t there, Chelsea would be a worse team because they may have to plate better as a collective team. Look at Harry Kane when he left Tottenham. You could argue Tottenham are a better team without Harry Kane as good as Kane was. However, Palmer is certainly having a great season at Chelsea.”

Foden is a favourite to win the PFA Player of the Season

Phil Foden further cemented his status as a key player in his breakout season with another remarkable goal in yesterday’s 3-3 draw against Real Madrid. Foden has now scored 22 goals in 45 appearances and shows no signs of slowing down. Impressively, the midfielder rose to the occasion once again in the absence of Kevin De Bruyne, who was reportedly ill before the game. Barnes expressed his admiration for Foden, stating that he is now a favourite to win the PFA Player of the Season. This endorsement highlights Foden’s exceptional contributions to his team, particularly in critical moments, and his growing influence in the football world.

“City have great players but I suppose with Haaland not scoring as many goals as expected and KDB’s injury issue, Foden has been one of City’s best attacking players.

“Now he’s been given a run ahead of players such as Grealish and Doku. He’s now one of City’s main players and he’s showing his quality. He’s now got responsibility to be one of the main players and one of the leaders in the team and he’s showing what he can do.

“Foden would be up there as a contender for PFA Player of the Season alongside Odegaard, Rice, Salah, VVD and Rodri. Foden is one of the favourites to win it.”

Rice is an upgrade on Thomas Partey

Declan Rice, who might have played alongside Phil Foden, is experiencing a remarkable season with Arsenal, solidifying himself as a key player in the team’s defensive framework. His performances have caught the attention of many, including Barnes, who has been notably impressed. Barnes even suggests that Rice represents an improvement over Thomas Partey.

“Rice has come into a confident Arsenal team where everything is going well and he’s added his experience despite how young he is. Arsenal needed that type of player despite having Thomas Partey who is a similar player. Rice for me is an upgrade on Partey.

“He’s a local London boy so he’s used to the city and to be honest he’s done better than I would have expected. I thought it would take him time to settle. But he’s doing well for club and country and his confidence is high.”

Odegaard is Arsenal’s Kevin De Bruyne

It’s also been another very impressive season for Arsenal attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard. The Arsenal skipper continues to shine both technically on the pitch, through his effort and endeavour when pressing as well as his leadership of this young Arsenal side. Barnes likens the influence of Odegaard to that of Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne calling him a “joy to watch”.

“Whilst Odegaard is Arsenal’s talisman. He’s a leader and he’s a joy to watch. Odegaard is Arsenal’s Kevin De Bruyne. He’s a team player and he’s very creative. He’s been very impressive.”

Arsenal or Tottenham is the ideal next move for Toney

The future of Ivan Toney has been a subject of much speculation, but it appears that the conversation is nearing a conclusion. Arsenal is reportedly keen on Brentford’s standout player, Ivan Toney, as they are in the market for a new striker. Brentford is preparing for the possibility of Toney’s departure this summer, and with just 12 months remaining on his contract, his transfer could come at a reduced fee. Barnes considers Arsenal or Tottenham as the perfect next step for Toney, suggesting that either club would benefit greatly from his talents. This move could mark a significant step in Toney’s career.

“I think Arsenal or Tottenham. Arsenal are doing well and scoring goals but I don’t think they can rely on sharing the goals as they do. I think they still need a focal point in the penalty area.

“Tottenham would benefit because Son and Richarlison aren’t out and out number nine’s.”

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