Barnsley will not be allowing focus at Oakwell to slip from the race to secure play-off football in the Sky Bet Championship.
Valerien Ismael has done a superb job of manoeuvring Barnsley into the top-six and his remit between now and the end of the season is keeping them there.
That opens up a world of possibility in terms of promotion to the Premier League, but does also leave Ismael’s squad at risk of being pulled apart if top-flight football is not achieved.
It appears that in that eventuality of missing out on promotion, Barnsley have already got a plan in place to strengthen their midfield.
Barnsley. Very keen on Jack Payne at Swindon. Bargain bid lined up.
— Alan Nixon (@reluctantnicko) April 11, 2021
As per Alan Nixon, Barnsley are preparing to bid for Jack Payne at Swindon Town, as they look to wrap up what’s described as a bargain deal.
With Payne’s potential arrival in mind, we take a look at ONE winner and ONE loser if the deal for the former Huddersfield Town midfielder goes through…
Winner: Cauley Woodrow
You could comment on any of Barnsley’s forwards and say that they were the winner here given they would be getting a fresh supply line to them in the form of Payne.
Payne has four goals and five assists to his name for Swindon Town this season, with whoscored.com stats revealing he plays 1.2 key passes per game, one dribble and 0.5 crosses. They are all good numbers for a creative midfielder, so naturally there’s going to be delight amongst the Barnsley attack given a new creative source might be arriving.
We’ve picked Woodrow, though, because he’s perhaps the most creative of Barnsley’s forwards, so as well as getting that fresh supply line, he’s also having his creative burden lifted slightly.
Woodrow has seven assists to his name across two seasons in the Championship, but he’s also got 25 goals. With less pressure on him to come deep at create, we might see those 25 goals rocket.
Loser: Isaac Christie-Davies
The former Chelsea and Liverpool youngster arrived at Oakwell back in the summer, before quickly moving out on loan to Dunajská Streda.
A lot of positivity surrounded the capture of Christie-Davies, but another player coming into his position would stunt his chance of breaking into the first-team.
Of course, players like Alex Mowatt could be moved on and open up other opportunities under Ismael, but Christie-Davies looking back and seeing Barnsley lining up Payne will be irritating all the same.