Barnsley have moved their summer recruitment drive into double figures with the capture of a player who they attempted to sign 12 months ago.
22 year old winger-cum-striker Conor Chaplin was on the club's shopping list last summer after netting 22 goals in 104 appearances for Portsmouth, helping them win promotion from League Two in 2016-2017 and then finish eighth in League One in 2017-2018. However
Chaplin decided to move to Coventry instead where he netted eight times in 33 appearances including a crucial goal for Barnsley, the fifth and winning goal for Coventry in a 5-4 success at Sunderland in April, a result which coupled with a 4-2 win over Fleetwood for the Reds saw them leapfrog the Black Cats into second spot - a position they would never relinquish from then on.
Chaplin came up through the ranks at Portsmouth down on the South Coast and was offered a two year contract in October 2014 after a stunning record of 11 goals in 11 games for their Under 18 side, thus making his debut in December of that year as an 85th minute substitute in a 3-2 League Two defeat to Accrington Stanley.
He would make a further eight league appearances that season, scoring in a 3-1 defeat at Morecambe in April 2015 and earning his first start (and full 90 minutes) on the final day of the campaign in a 1-1 draw with York as Pompey finished in 16th place.
Chaplin had a much more prominent role in 2015-2016, making 38 appearances in all competitions and netting 11 goals which including winning strikes against Championship side Derby in the League Cup and an equaliser at another Championship side, Ipswich in the FA Cup.
He also netted in Portsmouth's final two games of the regular season to earn victories over Wycombe and Hartlepool and help the Fratton Park outfit seal a place in the play-offs, however he would play only one minute in this, coming on as an 89th minute substitute in the second leg 1-0 defeat at Plymouth which saw them exit 3-2 on aggregate.
2016-2017 saw Chaplin play more (42) but score less (8) as he helped Pompey win the division as four of his eight goals were points earning strikes.
Chaplin would make 32 appearances in League One in 2017-2018 and score five times but despite making 122 appearances overall for Pompey, 86 of these were from the bench and he was allowed to join League One rivals Coventry on loan with a view to a permanent deal in August 2018 - some reports suggesting Portsmouth had opted to accept Coventry's offer rather than Barnsley's as they saw the Reds as more of a promotion rival and he would make 32 appearances for the Sky Blues scoring eight times, including a purple patch of three in four games in January so when Barnsley came calling again, with the offer of Championship football this time there was no obstacle to an Oakwell move, as a four year contract was signed with a fee agreed between the clubs of (reportedly) close to £1m.
Chaplin becomes the second player to sign for the Reds after featuring for Coventry last season following the signing of Luke Thomas who was on loan at the Ricoh from Derby.