Barnsley manager Valerien Ismael has confirmed that defender Toby Sibbick will be included in his squad for the second-half of the Championship season, following his premature return to Oakwell.
Sibbick joined Belgian side Oostende on season-long loan back in the summer transfer window, but failed to make a single appearance during his time with the club.
As a result, it was announced earlier this week that Sibbick’s loan has been cut short with the defender returning to Barnsley, and it seems he will not be leaving the Tykes again in the January window.
Speaking about his plans for Sibbick for the second half of the season, Ismael was quoted by The Yorkshire Post as saying: “I think it is a possibility to have more width and depth in our squad.
“I saw some tapes of him and he is a young guy, but with a lot of experience and he has played a lot of games at a high level. I think it is maybe a good time now and time for him to integrate and know the principles.”
Regulations around Sibbick’s loan mean that he will not be eligible to play for the Tykes until their FA Cup third round clash with Tranmere on the 10th January.
That is something it seems Ismael will look to use to his side’s advantage, as he went on to add: “We have two weeks to work with him and he started today in training and we will work with him every day to improve and integrate him.
“It is a new possibility for us to get more flexibility and quality in our squad. He will stay with us.”
Having joined Barnsley from AFC Wimbledon back in the summer of 2018, Sibbick made 18 appearances in all competitions for Barnsley before joining Hearts on loan for the second half of last season, prior to that summer move to Oostende.
I think this is a smart move for Barnsley to make with regards to Sibbick.
The 21-year-old is a very promising defender, and one who could still be an asset for Barnsley if he is given the right opportunity.
Considering his young age, there is still time for him to improve even further, meaning it makes sense for the Tykes to keep him around and benefit from that.
Indeed, this is a big show of faith in Sibbick from a manager he has never worked with before in Ismael, and that backing is something the centre back, and potentially his teammates, are likely to appreciate from their manager, another sign the club are heading in the right direction under him.