Excitement is building that Barnsley could be set to make major waves in the January transfer window after FIVE players have left the club in the space of the opening four days.
Barnsley are expected to make signings this window following the takeover of the club led by Chinese billionaire Chien Lee and they appear to be clearing space in their squad for new faces.
Harvey Barnes returned to Leciester City on New Year's Day, although he was recalled by the 2016 Premier League champions rather than Barnsley letting him go, but four more players have left within the last 24 hours that were instigated by Paul Heckingbottom and his coaching staff.
Firstly yesterday, The Reds cut short striker Ike Ugbo's loan from Chelsea, the 19 year old had originally signed on for the season after scoring prolifically for Chelsea's Under 23 side and England Under20s, however he has struggled at his first stab at senior level, scoring just once in 18 appearances (nine of which were as sub) in a 3-0 win over Sunderland in August. Ugbo has subsequently joined League One MK Dons for the rest of the season today.
Today has seen three departures, firstly young midfielder Josh Kay has joined League Two strugglers Chesterfield permanently for an undisclosed fee, the 21 year old joined Barnsley in July 2016 from AFC Fylde but made just one appearance (a start in a 2-2 draw with Bristol City in October 2016) and had spent time on loan at National League outfit Tranmere this season.
Highly rated Jared Bird has joined Yeovil on loan for the rest of the season, the 20 year old has come through the ranks at Oakwell and made his debut in a 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest in August, making a further three appearances.
Probably the most surprising departure today is Cameron McGeehan, who has joined League One promotion contenders Scunthorpe United on loan for the rest of the season. The 22 year old arrived in the summer from Luton, recovering from a broken leg which meant he could not make his debut until September. He scored in the 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough in October and has made 10 appearances in all, the last of which was the 3-1 defeat at Bolton at the start of December.
These departures have left considerable space in the Oakwell ranks for arrivals and Heckingbottom today confirmed the club has had a bid for Joe Williams rejected by his parent club Everton. The 21 year old has been a revelation at the heart of the Reds midfield since joining on loan from the Goodison Park outfit in the summer, making 28 appearances and scoring once - a stunner at Burton which was named Barnsley's Goal of 2017 by supporters.
Heckingbottom refused to go into details about the size of the fee, but media reports on Merseyside claim it is around the £1m mark.