Following an injury to Michael Nelson
that left Norwich short of defensive cover at centre-back, Paul
Lambert signed Leon Barnett on loan from West Bromwich Albion
on 26th August 2010 until 4th January 2010.
Barnett, 25, joined the Baggies from Luton Town in July 2007
for an initial fee of £2.5million and had since made 55
league and cup appearances for the Midlands side, netting three
goals in the process. He had made a total of 78 appearances for
the Hatters, and scored three goals. He had progressed from Luton's
youth academy and had a loan spell as a youth with Aylesbury.
The 6ft 1in centre-back joined Coventry City on loan lin 2009/10
and made 20 appearances for the Sky Blues.
Lambert said "He's a quality player who has played Premier
League football as well as having solid experience at Championship
level, so I'm delighted we've been able to bring him in. "He's
here until January so he will provide competition for places when
Michael and Zak Whitbread are fit
again, which I think you've got to have."
Barnett made his debut on 28th August 2010 in the 1-1 draw at
Impressing for Norwich, it was announced on 10th December 2010
that Norwich were to make Leon's stay at Carrow Road permanent
in the January transfer-window having agreed a price with West
Brom. However the following day, he conceded a penalty against
Portsmouth and was then sent off, receiving a n additional two
match ban for throwing the ball at the referee.
Leon signed permanently
for Norwich in January 2011 but his season was cut short soon
afterwards by injury. He ended the season with 26 appearances
and 1 goal
Leon made 18 appearances, scoring once in 2011/12 as Norwich
finished 12th in the Premier League
On 14th March 2013,
Leon joined Malky Mackay's Cardiff on
loan for a month, to get some first team football.
He made his Cardiff debut on 17th March in a 2-0 win against
Sheffield Wednesday. He helped them win
the Championship title with Cardiff when they drew with Burnley
on 20th April 2013. They secured promotion to the Premier League
on 16th April 2013when they drew with Charlton. That result took
Cardiff back to the top flight after a 51 year absence.
Barnett returned to
Norwich at the end of April following injury to Michael
Turner against Reading on 20th April. Barnett had played 8
times for Cardiff.
Barnett signed a three-year contract with recently-relegated
Championship side Wigan Athletic on 1st August 2013. He made his
debut on August 3rd against Barnsley away and scored in a 4-0
win as did fellow debutant Grant Holt
Barnett and Wigan were
releaged to League One on 28 April 2015 when Rotherham beat Reading
2-1 consigning Wigan and Millwall to the two remaining relegation
spots along with already relegated Blackpool. Barnett made 24 appearances in 2015/16 as Wigan secured a return to the Championship but was not in the matchday squad when they secured promotion with a 4-0 win at Blackpool on 30th April 2016.
Barnett was released by Wigan in July 2016 and signed a two year contract with Bury on 20th July 2016. He played 26 games before being released at the end of the 2016/17 season.
On 31st May 2017, Barnett signed for League One rival Northampton on a two year deal. He signed following the departures of Zander Diamond, Gabriel Zakuani and Rod McDonald. Barnett made 18 appearances, scoring once, in 2017/18 as Northampton were relegated to League Two.
On 26th November 2018, Barnett was forced to retire from playing due to a heart condition. The 32 year old defender revealed his heart rate reached almost 300 beats per minute during his final game and that it would be unsafe to contnue playing and training. He will stay at Northampton coaching in the academy and the first team.
Northampton were relegated from League One on 1st May 2021.