With Alex Mowatt departing Barnsley this summer after over four years as a Tyke, the club needed to replace the former captain with a like-for-like replacement.
That was always going to be difficult considering he was so influential, but the Yorkshire side paid a transfer fee to bring Burnley’s Josh Benson to Oakwell.
The total fee for Benson could reach £1 million if the performance-related add-ons are met in the future, and having signed a four-year contract the 21-year-old should be at the club for a while.
How’s it gone so far?
Barnsley aren’t doing so well right now, and unfortunately for Benson he’s had a stop-start time so far at the club.
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He came off the bench for the first two league matches of the season and then started three games in a row, but then he contracted COVID-19 and had to miss three matches.
Benson returned for the loss at Blackpool but was then absent for the losses to Nottingham Forest and Millwall having picked up an undisclosed injury.
Scans will assess what damage the youngster has done but with zero goal contributions so far and the team as a whole struggling, Benson has a lot to live up to.
What issues does he face?
His first obvious issue is getting over the current injury he has – the severity is yet to be known but hopefully it isn’t a long one.
There is competition though in Markus Schopp’s team and considering Benson hasn’t been on the winning side that much, the Austrian may want to experiment with different options.
He hasn’t yet decided if Callum Styles is going to be a wing-back or central midfielder but he also has Romal Palmer and Man City loanee Claudio Gomes, who will no doubt be expecting game-time.
Considering the club paid a decent fee for Benson though you’d expect he would get many chances to impress.
Once he’s recovered from injury, Benson needs to get himself on the scoresheet perhaps and then the floodgates may very well open.
Barnsley signed him for his creative abilities and to replace the ones that they lost with Mowatt’s departure – and he contributed a lot to the club’s goals last season.
It hasn’t quite clicked for Benson yet, but once Schopp figures out his best midfield Benson will probably look a lot more comfortable going forward.