A summer of change beckons at Oakwell after the season that was, with Barnsley looking to bounce back after the heartbreak of last campaign.
The valiant Tykes would eventually go on to see their play-off adventure end in defeat as they lost out to Swansea City at the semi final stage and it would in turn be the end of the road for two of their key men.
Both Valerien Ismael and Alex Mowatt have swapped Yorkshire for the Midlands as they head to the Hawthorns for a new challenge with West Bromwich Albion, with many wondering what could have been if the pair had stayed put.
Alas there is no time for Barnsley to be sat feeling sorry for themselves and preparations are now underway for the 2021/22 campaign, with Markus Schopp having taken over as Ismael’s successor.
The Austrian will understandably be looking to bring in his own players as part of this pre-season reshuffle and it appears that one name has moved towards the top of his list at Oakwell.
As recently reported by The Athletic, the Tykes are said to be interested in signing Nottingham Forest starlet Brennan Johnson for a fee to the tune of £2 million this summer.
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The exciting Wales international has only just returned to the City Ground after an extremely fruitful loan spell with Lincoln City in Sky Bet League One and will now be keen to show that he can make the cut at Championship level.
Johnson is a target that fits into the overall approach that the Tykes have taken on transfers over the past few years – he’s young, versatile and has the potential to command a massive fee in the long run if the club ever looked to sell him on for profit.
As ambitious as the move may be, it shows how far Barnsley have come over the past few years and underlines their desire to compete with the very best clubs in the second tier moving forwards after their successful campaign last time out.
Forest will understandably not want to lose one of their best young talents for such a minimal fee but you have to admire the panache and drive from Barnsley to attempt to snare one of the Football League’s best young talents away to Oakwell.
The fact that the forward racked up 13 goals and five assists from a predominately midfield role last season really showcases what he is capable of and therefore you can fully understand why Barnsley would want to add such a creative outlet to what is an already multi-talented group.
Their pursuit of Johnson may ultimately come to nothing but as the old saying goes, ‘you have to be in it to win it’ – and that’s certainly the motto that the Tykes lived by last term in their pursuit of an unlikely return to the top flight.
The club may have been wounded by the loss of their skipper and chief mate but the Barnsley ship is certainly still sailing strong as the Yorkshire side prepare to aim high once more next season.