Whilst Barnsley’s success last season came as a surprise to some, it also came at a cost as Paul Heckingbottom had to deal with a number of key personnel leaving for the Premier League and for Championship rivals.
This summer, it appears that Heckingbottom will face a difficult task once again as Barnsley captain Marc Roberts has been linked with a move away from Oakwell this summer.
Following the departure of his centre-back partner, Alfie Mawson to Swansea City, the 26-year-old centre half has been linked with a move to Premier League side West Bromwich Albion and also Championship rival Aston Villa.
After a January raid saw Aston Villa steal away Conor Hourihane and James Bree, it is reported that Steve Bruce is now hoping to prise Roberts away from the South Yorkshire side.
If Marc Roberts does leave this summer, one possible replacement that Paul Heckingbottom should look at is Oxford United centre-half, Curtis Nelson.
Since making the switch from Plymouth Argyle to Oxford United, the 24-year-old centre-half has been one of the standout performers in Michael Appleton’s side.
Nelson made the transition from League Two to League One appear seamless as he stepped up and showed that he is one of the most highly-rated centre-halves in the EFL.
As a powerful commanding centre-half with leadership credentials to back up this physical dominance, Nelson appears to be the perfect replacement if Marc Roberts was to leave.
The arrival of Curtis Nelson, a player who has climbed up the Football League after being released by Stoke City could be Barnsley’s most recent astute signing from the lower echelons of the Football League.
Barnsley fans, do you expect Marc Roberts to leave this summer? Would Curtis Nelson be a suitable replacement? Do you think he would be a success in the Championship? Let us hear your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below!