Following their immediate promotion from League One last season, Barnsley will be hoping to avoid a similarly quick return to the third tier next season, as they look to finally establish themselves back in the Championship.
As a result, the club have been busy building a squad they feel is capable of keeping them in the Championship over the course of the summer, with no fewer than ten players making the move to Oakwell during the course of the current transfer window.
It could, however, be one of those who helped them get back to the Championship last season who proves key to their survival in the second tier next season, after The Tykes assistant manager Dale Tonge recently revealed that the club have yet to receive any offers for striker Kieffer Moore in the transfer window.
It was a highly influential role that Moore played in helping Barnsley to promotion last season, and he could have a similar role to play now the club are back in the Championship for the coming campaign.
Here, we’ve taken a look at Moore’s performances last season to find out just how important keeping him at Oakwell could prove to be for Barnsley.
Admittedly, Barnsley do have other options going forward, with the likes of Cauley Woodrow, Mamadou Thiam and new signing Mallik Wilks – who joins from Leeds after spending last season on loan in League One with Doncaster – among those they can call upon if they do somehow lose Moore before the start of the coming campaign.
You feel, however, that it is the 26-year-old former Ipswich man Moore who will be key to Barnsley’s attacking prospects going forward next season, and the stats do seem to support that.
Despite missing over two months of the season due to injury, Moore still ended the season as top scorer out of the quartet, netting 17 goals, one more than his closest challenger in Woodrow, while Wilks notched 14 for Doncaster and Thiam – who in fairness is perhaps more of a wider player – found the net on seven occasions.
Looking deeper into the stats, it becomes much clearer as to why that is. With over 40% of his shots finding the target, and the striker winning more than half of his aerial duels last season, Moore is evidently a player who can keep both goalkeepers and defenders busy.
Add to that an average of more than five touches in the opposition penalty area per game, and it seems somewhat inevitable that Moore produced such an impressive goals return last season, given the work that opposing defences will have had to do to contain him, a task which it seems many were eventually overcome by.
It is perhaps no surprise to see that Moore tops the standings in all these categories amongst Barnsley’s expected first-choice attackers in the coming campaign, although interestingly, that is not the case when it comes to other aspects of the game.
Interestingly, both Wilks and Thiam provided several more assists – seven and five respectively – than the two supplied by Moore last season, while both that duo and Woodrow enjoyed a better pass success rate than the Welshman last season.
That does seem to suggest that unlike certain other more versatile strikers, Moore’s out and out strength is putting the ball in the back of the opposition net.
Given his success at doing that however, and the fact that getting the ball in that enough to keep them in the Championship next season will be more important than anything related to their style of play, there can be no doubt that Moore looks capable of making a big impact for Barnsley again in the coming campaign.
Keeping him at Oakwell then, could just prove to be one of the best bits of business that Barnsley do all summer.