Harvey Barnes sat down with Dan King of NUFC TV in Philadelphia to give his first on-record interview as a Newcastle player, here's everything he had to say:
Dan King: Harvey, welcome to Philadelphia, welcome to Newcastle United. I'm sure it's been a long day for you but how excited are you to be here?
Harvey Barnes: Yeah I'm delighted. It's been a long day of travelling but I'm glad to be at the hotel and to meet all the boys in a bit.
Dan King: Tell us about the last few days and what's led up to it as well, because the interest seems to have been around for quite a long time.
Harvey Barnes: It's been in the process for a couple of weeks, which is nice as a player, but then you're just desperate for it to happen. When you know the interest is there you're waiting for it to happen. When it got over the line and I found out it was all sorted it was a great day.
Dan King: You'd been with Leicester for more than 15 years. I'm sure relegation played a part, but after such a long time growing up there and making so many memories, was it always going to take quite a special Club to tempt you away?
Harvey Barnes: Definitely. I've been there since I was nine years old, so have many, many memories there and had an amazing time at the club. It's a difficult decision, but when a club like Newcastle comes knocking it's an easy decision. It's a massive club and a club that's on the up.
Dan King: What specifically about Newcastle is it, you say it's a massive club on the up, but what is it that drew you to Newcastle?
Harvey Barnes: I think just watching last year and playing in the games against them, you can see how good the team is and the team spirit that they've got. From looking on as well the manager looks great and the coaching staff behind him, so for a player looking on it's a project that you want to be involved in. It's an exciting one and one that can keep developing and keep going from strength to strength each year.
Dan King: Who did you speak to about it? I know you've played with a few of the current players with England and a couple of your Leicester teammates, did you speak to many people about it and what did they tell you?
Harvey Barnes: A couple of people, yeah, just for bouncing off bits of feedback. I didn't speak to the gaffer until it was near enough done, but I think I mainly knew myself. I had that good feeling and I think when you have that you know your decision's almost made in your mind. It was just getting the okay from everyone else and getting the family's opinions that was important, but I think as a player when you get that feeling you stick with it and go with it.
Dan King: From a family perspective, you've got a baby on the way, so are you looking forward to settling down and making new roots here?
Harvey Barnes: Yeah, definitely. It's an exciting new challenge on and off the pitch. Of course, we're used to living in Leicester but coming up here it's new beginnings. It's exciting times and my mum and dad are delighted as well, they can't wait to get up. We had a look around the stadium the other day and it's amazing, so I think they're as excited as I am to be in the stadium when it's packed.
Dan King: For your dad, a former footballer himself, how proud do you detect he is of you getting to play for a club like this?
Harvey Barnes: Yeah, as I said, he is excited. He came up with me to look around and you could see it on his face that he was excited. He's watched my journey up until now so it's a new step for me, but also for them, it's going to be a new step for them as well so we're all buzzing
Dan King: Last season was a tough one for Leicester, but you got 13 goals. It was your best goal return, so do you feel like you leave with your head held high and also playing some of the best football that you've played?
Harvey Barnes: Yeah, you'd like to think so. Of course, it was a disappointing season and as a player, it's all about the team, so for me as well I'm disappointed with the way it finished last year no doubt. I think sometimes you do as much as you can within the team, and I tried to do as much as I could last year to help the team, but ultimately we fell short in the end. It was a sad time for the club, but this is a new start for them and a new start for me, so hopefully it's best wishes both ways.
Dan King: What do you think you're going to bring to the team in terms of your style of play and the way the team plays?
Harvey Barnes: I feel like I'll fit in well with the style. It's a fast-paced game and seeing last season the amount of chances created, goals scored, the defensive record, of course, as an attacking player coming into that side it's exciting. It's a team that you want to be involved in and I hope to bring a lot of goals, assists, and exciting times.
Dan King: You've got one England cap so far, how much of a driving force is it to try and add to that playing for a club like this?
Harvey Barnes: Yeah, that's definitely in the back of my mind. I'd love to be back involved with the setup, hopefully, this is a platform to go and showcase my ability and try and get myself back involved with that. That'd be great, but, of course, at the minute my full focus is on hitting the ground running with Newcastle.
Dan King: You've just arrived at the team hotel and you've sat down to do this, but in terms of getting started and the welcome that you have received so far what's it been like?
Harvey Barnes: It's been great. When I came in there were a few staff members and people around, so it's great to meet everyone. It'll take a bit of time to get used to everyone and I'll meet most of the team at dinner tonight, so it'll be good. When you get used to your surroundings and get comfortable with everyone that's when I think you feel really settled. Then it's for me as a player to go and enjoy myself and bring as much to the team as I can.
Dan King: How do you feel about coming in right at the start of this US tour? Do you see it as a good time to really make those bonds and do everything on and off the pitch in terms of settling in?
Harvey Barnes: Yeah, definitely. There are three big games coming up, so to be involved in them will be good. But also off the pitch, there's a chance to be just away for the week and really get to know everyone and spend time with them. I think that's going to be important over the next week too because you want to have those bonds on the pitch and off the pitch, it helps massively, so this week will definitely be useful for that.
Dan King: Then after you return there are a couple of games at St. James' Park in the Sela Cup. How much are you looking forward to playing at St James's for the first time as a Newcastle player in those games?
Harvey Barnes: Yeah, it'll be amazing. When I went to look at the stadium, I was just imagining it when it's full and rocking. I've played in it on the away team and I know how that feels, so to be on the other side and have the home support behind you will be a great feeling.
Dan King: Just finally, in terms of your fitness, where are you at with it? It's early into pre-season, but are you ready to hit the ground running?
Harvey Barnes: Yeah, definitely. At Leicester, we came back a week before so I had that bit of extra time already training. Then, just in the last week or so when I've been separate from the group, I've been doing my own bits, just ticking over, so I feel like I'm ready to come in and hit the ground running.
Dan King: There's a game tomorrow. Possibly involved in that? Can't wait to get started?
Harvey Barnes: Fingers crossed, yeah, it'd be nice to be involved. I have to see what the gaffer says and, if not, look forward to Wednesday being involved.