Ahead of the new Premier League season kicking off this weekend, we’ve spoken to BonusCodeBets ambassador, John Barnes. The former England and Liverpool midfielder shared his thoughts on Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood’s behaviour in Iceland, which Premier League club he thinks is best suited for Gareth Bale and why Newcastle fans should be excited for the coming season.
John Barnes Exclusive: The Geordie faithful will be very happy with the three new signings
“Newcastle have made three, very good signings. Callum Wilson scores goals and is aggressive in his play, Ryan Fraser is quite a creative player which is good for Newcastle as the problem for them currently is that they haven’t been scoring enough goals. Jamal Lewis is a young, brave and attacking left-back, that will provide another option when going forward.
“Steve Bruce has been quite pragmatic in his approach by playing one striker and being quite direct, but these signings have made Newcastle more attacking and diverse when playing forward. We are not sure if he is going to play one striker or two, with Joelinton and Callum Wilson, but signing attacking players shows that they are looking to add more goals than they did last season.
“What is good is that all three players are British, whereas in the past, Newcastle have signed a lot of foreign players. Even though we know the Toon faithful would want 11 Geordies playing for the club, bringing in a few British players will definitely bring a bit of the identity back.”
John Barnes Exclusive: Rhian Brewster may not get a Premier League move
“Despite Rhian Brewster have a good loan spell at Swansea City last season, Liverpool clearly don’t see him as a long-term prospect. If the centre-forward gets injured, they obviously don’t feel like he would be the right replacement. However, it is also a good thing for the player. If he feels like he is not going to play regular football at Liverpool, it is right for him to want to move in order to play each week. Rather than waiting at the club, hoping to get game time, it is good that he can look to find a home for himself at a club where he will play regularly and then maybe a few years down the line, Liverpool try to buy him for £50m. Rhian Brewster moving away will be good for both parties, and he can evolve into an even better player over the next few seasons.
Regarding, where he may move to, you have to look at what other Premier League clubs are looking for. Clubs will want a proven international player from abroad who could cost £30m, rather than someone who has not performed at a top six club, especially if you are a club in the bottom half of the Premier League table.”
John Barnes Exclusive: Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood were idiots, but it won’t ruin their careers
“There is not much more protection that you can give these young players, what Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood did, was a stupid thing to do. Both players decided to do what they did, which is not something that someone can protect them from as it was their decision. Of course, young people do stupid things, which it was, but they’ll learn from it.
“You must support them, but obviously they must also be disciplined, which is what Gareth Southgate has correctly done. In terms of what Manchester United and Manchester City should do, they need to deal with it internally and punish them in whatever manner they see fit to do so.
“It is a shame what they have done, but they must move on and learn from what has happened. Their careers aren’t going to be destroyed by it, but they will need to learn a valuable lesson about discipline and responsibility.”
John Barnes Exclusive: Chelsea signing Edouard Mendy will NOT put Kepa Arrizabalaga under pressure
“With Chelsea looking to sign Rennes goalkeeper, Edouard Mendy, I don’t necessarily feel that him coming in, is to replace Kepa Arrizabalaga in the number one position. If they wanted to replace the current goalkeeper, they would want somebody more experienced of an Oblak calibre. We will have to wait and see if they bring in another goalkeeper, but if they don’t, then I would expect Kepa to keep his place in the team.
“We could talk about the money that Chelsea bought Kepa for and if he has justified it, but even though he might not be the best at one club, doesn’t mean he can’t be a top goalkeeper at a different club. If you look at David De Gea for example, he didn’t have the best of seasons last year, but Manchester United stuck with him and kept him in the team. If Chelsea were to bring in another £80m goalkeeper, then you would think that Kepa’s position would be in trouble but bringing in an £18m goalkeeper from Rennes will not put him under too much strain.”
John Barnes Exclusive: Manchester United would be the best club for Gareth Bale
“If Gareth Bale was to come to the Premier League, I couldn’t imagine Liverpool or Chelsea wanting to sign him, especially from a financial point of view.
“What a team will want is a hungry version of Gareth Bale. We don’t know what state he is currently in as he hasn’t really played for the last couple of years, we don’t know how fit he is or how hungry he is to still play at the highest level.
“In terms of the way he plays, Manchester City would be best suited for him, but they aren’t going to want to sign him. Tottenham Hotspur is a club who he has played for before but is he the type of player that Jose Mourinho wants, I don’t think so. Manchester United is probably the best club for him, but it is whether they want him despite considering his age and the salary he comes with.”
John Barnes Exclusive: Signing Donny van de Beek isn’t the top priority for Manchester United, but what a fantastic signing
“Donny van de Beek is a hard-working attacking midfielder, which is maybe not the most needed position for Manchester United, considering they have other options already. But, when an opportunity comes up to sign a player of his quality, even if there is a position that you think needs more attention, you still take him. He is a fantastic player with so much ability and I feel a great signing for United. I am sure they will still be looking to bring in more players this summer in other positions to help him.
“I have seen that they are linked with Sergio Reguilón from Sevilla which might cause some issues with Luke Shaw. A fit, sharp and focussed Luke Shaw is good enough for Manchester United’s starting left back position, but they are clearly looking to strengthen their defensive options. Time will tell who they bring into the squad.”
John Barnes Exclusive: James Rodriguez is a brilliant signing, but will struggle physically
“Given their recent signings, I am sure that Everton will improve on last season. The Brazilian midfielder, Allan, is a very good signing and of course, we know about James Rodriguez. He is technically very good, but the physicality of the Premier League is a tough adjustment for attacking midfield players, it might be too much for him in his first season. Players like himself, although tactically brilliant, lack in strength and physicality which may make the Premier League too much for him. He could take a while to adjust, but once he does, he could be a real asset for them (Everton).
“Signing Allan from Napoli is brilliant for Everton. He is very strong defensively and can come forward to help the attacking players also. I loved Doucoure at Watford as well, he was brilliant there and I’m sure will be a real asset on Stanley Park.”
John Barnes Exclusive: Bringing in John Lundstram from Sheffield United would definitely get Rangers closer to Celtic
“If Steven Gerrard was to get John Lundstram for a free transfer from Sheffield United, that would be great. He is a very physical player, quite strong, and good on the ball with great passing ability. Overall, it would be a good signing for Rangers as they are so desperate to stop Celtic from winning the league again this year and securing the ten in a row. I am sure they will get closer to Celtic this season and have started the well in the league. There is a long way to go in the season but signing John Lundstram would definitely help them.”
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