With the 2021-22 Premier League season approaching, Liverpool haven’t signed a player since Ibrahim Konate joined the club at the start of the transfer window this summer and their title rivals continue to squirt the cash.

Liverpool have been linked to a wide variety of attacking players in recent weeks and with current strikers Divock Origi and Xhedran Shaqiri both linked to the Anfield departure, Leicester City substitute Harvey Barnes is said to be.

Barnes possesses a number of talents that would make him ideal for Jürgen Klopp’s system. The 23-year-old can use both feet, can dribble aggressively on defenders, press when necessary and has an eye for goal.

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Since his impressive loan from West Brom in 2018, Barnes has been a regular on the Leicester team and was one of the players of the 2020-21 season until he sustained an injury in February of that year that made him for the season.

The young Englishman scored nine goals and four assists in 25 league games last season, demonstrating his potential to become one of the best wingers in the league over the next few years.

So what would happen if Barnes moved from Leicester to Liverpool?

We “signed” Barnes for the Reds next season to see what would happen and if the winger could help the Reds regain their success in the Premier League or Champions League.

Harvey Barnes “signs” Liverpool in the 2021 summer transfer window

To set up the simulation, we launched the Football Manager 2021 Editor and had Barnes officially sign for the Reds from Leicester on July 1, 2021.

This is what Barnes’ Football Manager 2021 profile looked like in July 2021.

Harvey Barnes in-game profile in Football Manager 2021 starting July 1, 2021

Barnes’ first season in red was a strong one, with the winger getting plenty of playing time in all four major competitions. The 23-year-old ended his season with 44 appearances in all competitions, scoring 13 goals and three assists in that time.

Barnes stacked most of his starts in the Premier League (21) and was used more as a super-sub in the Champions League, where he got off the bench six times.

Harvey Barnes stats from the 2021/22 season simulation on FM21

One impressive aspect of Barnes’ game, which was used to its fullest in Liverpool, was the player’s versatility and ability to play anywhere on the top three.

Throughout the season, Barnes played as a left winger, central attacking midfielder, right winger and even a striker.

He played most of his games on the left side, but recorded most of the goal contributions on the right side. He was only used as a striker three times and scored two goals during that time.

Barnes was used in four different positions for Liverpool in the FM21 simulation

Barnes was used in four different positions for Liverpool in the FM21 simulation

At the end of the 2021/22 season, Football Manager 2021 put together the best overall Liverpool XI based on performance, statistics and other metrics.

This is how the Reds XI 2021/22 looked best, according to FM21.

Full Liverpool Best XI: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk, Konate, Robertson; Fabinho, Henderson, Thiago; Salah, mane, Firmino

The best Liverpool XI from the simulated 2021/22 season in FM21

The best Liverpool XI from the simulated 2021/22 season in FM21

Despite a season of impressive performances and a return from the bench for the Reds, Barnes couldn’t force his way into the season’s best team with Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino all keeping him off the team.

How did Klopp’s team fared in all competitions in our simulated season with Barnes in the squad?

Liverpool’s 2021/22 season results with Barnes

This is what the final table of the Premier League 2021/22 looked like at the end of our simulation.

Liverpool finished second in the simulated Premier League 2021-22 season on FM21

Liverpool finished second in the simulated Premier League 2021-22 season on FM21

The Reds were on familiar ground as they battled Man City for the title, but in the end it was back-to-back Premier League titles for City as they beat Liverpool for the title by seven points.

Liverpool were the best defense in the league along with Man City, with both teams conceding just 24 goals in 38 games, but City was unstoppable for much of the season as they lost just one game.

So was it better for Klopp’s team in the cup competitions?

Liverpool have been defeated in all three cup competitions which means they did not win any trophies in the simulation

Liverpool have been defeated in all three cup competitions which means they did not win any trophies in the simulation

Liverpool lost the first leg in the Champions League semi-finals 3-0 to Barcelona, ​​but there was no replay of the incredible scenes from 2019 as the Reds only won 0-1 in the second leg, meaning they were 3 have lost. 1 on aggregate.

Barnes scored the goal against Wolves in the third round of the Carabao Cup, but his goal wasn’t enough as Liverpool lost 2-1 and dropped out early.

The Reds also suffered a 2-1 loss to Bournemouth at Anfield, where Liverpool were eliminated in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Despite Barnes’ decent return in his first season at Merseyside, the winger’s addition was not enough to bring Liverpool silver back as they went through their second straight season without trophies.

The lack of trophies with additions like Barnes in this simulation suggests that Liverpool may have to invest more in first-team players than in rotation and squad depth if they want to get back to winning ways.

Would you be happy if Barnes signed for Liverpool? Let us know in the comments below.

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