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Josh Sargent has picked up where he left off with Norwich City and although there is reported interest elsewhere in the English Football League Championship for the American striker, veteran Ashley Barnes hopes he stays at Carrow Road.

Sargent scored his second league goal of the 2023-24 season on Sunday as the Canaries defeated Millwall 3-1. The USMNT striker led the Canaries in scoring with 13 goals last season and remains one of their talented young players for the current campaign.

Barnes, a longtime veteran in England, joined the Canaries on a free transfer from Burnley this past summer and has teamed up with Sargent in David Wagner’s attack.

Leeds United has reportedly expressed interest in acquiring Sargent before the end of the summer transfer window, a move that would reunite Sargent with former Norwich City boss Daniel Farke.

Although it seems unlikely that the Canaries would sell Sargent to a fellow promotion contender in the early stages of the new season, a move could happen if Leeds United meets Norwich’s valuation of the 23-year-old. Barnes has only been at the club since early-July, but praised Sargent’s long-term potential with hopes he stays at Norwich City.

“He’s a special player. I keep telling him that he is so incredibly good. He doesn’t realize how good he is,” Barnes said postmatch on Sunday, transcribed by Pink UN.

“Hopefully, this year he can have a fantastic year. Who knows what he can be. He’s a phenomenal talent, and hopefully we can keep him beyond this window,” Barnes added.

Following Teemu Pukki’s departure to MLS, Norwich City would certainly like to keep Sargent part of the plans this season. The Canaries have earned seven points out of a possible nine to start the new campaign, while also advancing in the EFL Cup.

Norwich City has two final matches of its August schedule and three overall before the September international window. A positive start to the season could very well see Sargent included in U.S. men’s national team duty this September as Gregg Berhalter’s squad faces Uzbekistan and Oman on home soil.

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