This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Barnsley have had a fantastic season in the Sky Bet Championship and will be looking to seal promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs in the weeks to come.
It’s been a great story to watch unfold and many neutrals will be hoping they can complete the job and return to the top flight.
Whatever happens, though, the summer window is big for them and so, here, some of our writers at FLW are discussing what needs to be the priority for the Tykes in the off-season…
The main focus for Barnsley has to be on keeping their best players.
The Tykes have enjoyed a wonderful campaign this season in which they’ve established themselves as a real surprise package in the Championship.
As a result the club are in the mix to secure Premier League football.
Players such as Daryl Dike and Alex Mowatt have been key to that success and that’s why it’s essential that the club do all they can to keep them.
The prospect of Dike sticking around will be dependent on the club getting to the Premier League, but for Mowatt it’s essential that they pull out all of the stops to keep him.
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It’s got to be keeping their squad together.
The Tykes have been phenomenal this season and Valerien Ismael is building something fantastic at Oakwell but they can’t afford to allow their squad to be stripped of all its assets.
There is likely to be significant interest in players in the summer, Barnsley need to keep their squad together to ensure they can build on this season’s success and don’t just fade away.
As much as you’d love to say Daryl Dike would be at the top of their list, the interest in him suggests that could be near impossible for them to do.
Their focus has to be on limiting damage from outgoing transfers.
I get that Daryl Dike has been a revelation and you’d love to see him stay at Oakwell, but I’ll go down a slightly more realistic route.
My focus is on not allowing a key player to leave on a free transfer in the form of Alex Mowatt.
He’s the heartbeat of this Barnsley side and has been for some time, growing as a player as Barnsley grow as a club.
It’s been tough to agree a new contract with him, but Barnsley have to keep chipping away at the midfielder and convince him to stay.
For me, he’s the player I’d want at the heart of things to ensure that this season isn’t just a flash in the pan.
You can source players like Dike that provide the X-Factor, but someone like Mowatt offers tempo and is already so familiar with the club.
It’s got to be a priority making sure he doesn’t move on – they’ve simply got to keep him.