Football Season Guide



Devante Cole (att) Motherwell; Obbi Oulare (att) Standard Liege; Josh Benson (mid) Burnley


Alex Mowatt (k) (mid) West Brom; Jack Aitchison (att) Forest Green – on loan; Luke Thomas (mid) Bristol Rovers – on loan; Patrick Schmidt (att) Esbjerg – on loan; Michael Sollbauer (sp) (def) Dynamo Dresden, Daryl Dike (r) (att) Orlando City – end of loan; Conor Chaplin (r) (att) Ipswich

Barnsley exceeded all expectations last season as the appointment of Valerian Ismael in late October and a high intensity direct brand of football heralded a remarkable rise up the table. During February and March they only lost once, winning nine of their 11 games. They finished in the play-offs but were beaten in the semi-finals. The close season has seen the departure of Ismael as well as captain and key man Mowatt. Mowatt was the lynchpin of the team, he left the club after turning down the most lucrative contract offer in Barnsley’s history. For a new manager they have gone back to their tried and tested formula which is the appointment of a boss who has previously succeeded in the Austrian Bundesliga. The new man is Markus Schopp. He worked wonders on a small budget at Austrian side Hartberg, leading them to fifth in 2019/20 and seventh last season. On the playing staff, with loan star Dike leaving, the Reds needed to strengthen up front. They have brought in Cole who hit 11 goals in 27 Scottish Premier League appearances last season and former Belgium youth international Oulare. Barnsley have an exciting young squad who showed their qualities last season. However, it remains to be seen how they fare without Ismael and Mowatt.


Will be looking to consolidate in the Championship after the key summer departures. Based on last season the squad is capable of a mid-table finish, much will depend on the impact of the new manager.