Reds Add Soll To Leaky Defence

Last updated : 24 January 2020 By Rob Miles

Barnsley have made their second signing from Gerhard Struber's former club Wolfsberger AC this month with the capture of their central defender and captain Michael Sollbauer.

The Reds have conceded the second most goals in the division, averaging nearly two per game with individual mistakes at the back contributing to most of these. Struber has therefore signed one of his most trusted lieutenants to hopefully shore up the ever widening dam.

At 29 Sollbauer becomes the oldest member of the squad and is the oldest signing made by Barnsley since Matt Mills in January 2018 who was 31 when he arrives at Oakwell.

Sollbauer started his career with SK Austria Kärnten making 18 appearances between 2008-2010 but has really risen to prominence since moving to Wolfsberger in 2010.

His breakthrough came in the 2012-2013 season when he made 33 appearances in the Austrian Bundesliga helping the club to a sixth place finish, just one point off a European place and then 34 in 2013-2014 as the club finished a place lower in seventh.

2014-2015 brought another 32 appearances but also two red cards, in a 2-0 defeat at Wiener Neustadt after 89 minutes and a 2-0 defeat at Sturm Graz after just eight minutes. Wolfsberger would however finish in fifth.

Sollbauer would make just 25 appearances in 2015-2016 and receive a third red card in the last minute of a 1-1 draw at Altach with Wolfsberger dropping to a sixth place finish.

2016-2017 brought Sollbauer his first goal for the club, opening the scoring after 15 minutes of a 1-1 draw with Admira Wacker and he would appear 23 times as the club finished in a lowly eighth place, just seven points off the bottom.

Another goal would arrive in 2017-2018, opening the scoring again in a 2-2 draw at Austria Vienna and he played 24 games as the club finished even lower in ninth with only St Polten below them.

Sollbauer's final goal and red card arrived last season, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win over Austria Vienna but also seeing red in a 3-0 defeat at Sturm Graz. However he would feature 30 times as Wolfsberger improved massively on their previous season's performance by finishing fourth and earnt a place in the Europa League.

He played the full 90 minutes in five of their six group games but could not help them qualify for the knockout stages as they finished bottom of Group J.

Sollbauer is the second signing from Wolfsberger this month following the arrival of Marcel Ritzmaier and has signed a contract until 2022.