Barnsley have struggled to maintain pace with last year’s excellent play-off place finish.
The Tykes, who currently sit in 22nd place and are occupying the first relegation spot at present, are without a Championship victory in nine games, with the pressure already mounting on Markus Schopp.
Scoring goals seems a glaring issue for the Yorkshire club at the moment, with The Tykes netting just seven goals in their opening 11 games – the worst offensive record in the Championship.
Barnsley still possess a strong squad at Championship level, with several talented and young individuals coming through the ranks.
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The Tykes would benefit from adding a creative spark in an attacking-midfield position during January.
Barnsley currently operate in a 3-4-3 formation, and whilst that brought them lots of success last season, it is not unlocking the Championship as it did last time out.
This is where Schopp needs to be bold and change things up, and with nine games without a Championship victory, he will be assessing his options on that front.
One player who could be available on a loan deal in January, and could certainly boost Barnsley’s creative capabilities is Sheffield United playmaker Luke Freeman.
Freeman, who spent last season on loan with Nottingham Forest, is an individual who has excelled in the Championship in the past and given a sufficient amount of game time, he can hit those levels once more.
Freeman operates best as an attacking midfielder, but he also has the skillset to play on the right-wing.
If the 29-year-old was brought in, then a shift to a 3-5-2 could be seen at Oakwell, with Callum Styles and Romal Palmer continuing to operate in the midfield, with the back three and wing-backs also remaining in place.
The only change would be the front three, and instead of having inverted wingers, an attacking midfielder and an extra forward would be deployed.
Cauley Woodrow’s intricate link up play and clever movement would suit having an attacking midfielder as intelligent as Freeman, whilst Aaron Leya Iseka and Obbi Oulare could partner the captain in their familiar striking roles.
Freeman has a wand of a left foot, and he has the vision to go with it, and a player with his ability needs to be playing regular football in the Championship.