This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Rewind’ series, this content strand is where we rewind back to a particular moment at a club, assess the initial reaction from the fans, and then proceed to evaluate and reflect on whether fans were right to react in that way….
When Barnsley just escaped relegation on the final day of the 2019/20 Championship season, fans and players alike probably wouldn’t have believed it if they were told they’d be in the play-offs of the very same league 10 months later.
However that’s exactly what happened – and it’s amazing because if it wasn’t for Wigan Athletic’s points deduction due to going into administration the Tykes would have been in League One this past season.
The Barnsley team was strengthened ahead of the new season but one player who arrived at Oakwell in the time just after Gerhard Struber departed for the MLS and before Valerien Ismael was named as his successor was Callum Brittain.
Capped five times earlier in his career for England under-20’s, the 23-year-old had spent his career at MK Dons but he made the move in October to the Tykes for an undisclosed fee.
The club needed to dip into the market after Killian Ludewig returned to Germany with Brittain identified as his permanent replacement – this is what Barnsley fans were saying when the signing was confirmed.
— Harri🇦🇹 (@bfcharri) October 10, 2020
Could have signed him two weeks ago for free…hopefully goes well but suggests Barnsley aren’t on the ball
— John Dyball (@dyball_john) October 10, 2020
A lot of our fans don’t seem too enthusiastic about this signing, I, like a lot of others don’t know anything about the lad, but did anybody know anything about Yiadom when we signed him from lower leagues? he turned art oreyt. Positive this for me. Few more please reds. 💪🏻 https://t.co/kItt1GRC3v
— Craig Robinson (@craigrob1r23) October 10, 2020
Love it❤️ https://t.co/EDePu6Y98R
— Jamie (@bfcjamie1) October 10, 2020
All the best Callum I’m sure you’ll shows us Reds fans what your capable of !
— Jack Yates (@JYBeast92) October 10, 2020
Brittain slotted into the line-up after spending his first game as a Barnsley player on the bench, and after that he missed just one league game until the end of the campaign, proving himself to be one of the club’s most consistent outlets.
What club do these 21 former Barnsley players ply their trade at now?
He’s not broke his scoring duck for the Tykes yet but Brittain has notched five assists for the club and along with Callum Styles on the other side of the pitch, he provides a key outlet as one of the flying wing-backs.
There was a lot of positivity when Brittain signed and considering Struber had signed a lot of Austrian players, this transfer of a talented player from a lower English division was something that Barnsley fans had become accustomed to in the past.
It’s fair to say that Brittain’s acquisition has been a success – being a part of a play-off team will have increased his value tenfold and he will be a key player once again for them in 2021/22.