Barnsley were having a stellar 2016/17 campaign on the back of their promotion to the Championship via the play-offs the year before.
Paul Heckingbottom had overseen a total transformation of the Oakwell side, and their fortunes were looking up during their first year back at second-tier level.
The club were flying and heading into the transfer window, were in the top half of the table.
On January 27, 2017, Barnsley were in the lofty position of eighth in the league and just four points off of a play-off place after 27 matches.
The club knew it was now or never to push and sustain a play-off fight and that was reflected in their January business.
In what was somewhat of a shock, Leeds United allowed Alex Rowett to move to the Tykes on a permanent deal.
— Barnsley FC (@BarnsleyFC) January 27, 2017
The midfielder signed a two-and-a-half year deal with the Championship side and in a move worth around £600,000.
Mowatt, then 22, had been a regular for his former side that season before the move across the county.
The reaction his arrival received was that of an overly positive manner.
Brilliant stuff NOW BOGLE
— Andy Robbins (@AndyRobbins3) January 27, 2017
— kappa albion (@Kappa_albion) January 27, 2017
Damnnnnn, reyt signing!!! ????????#COYR
— Rockfella ???????? (@NMawson) January 27, 2017
— Caitlin (@caitlindenton01) January 27, 2017
wow what a steal looking forward to this a young Hourihane who just needs to add tracking back & tackling and we'll have a gem
— Adam Sykes (@Shortszy96) January 27, 2017
Having had a strong reception to his arrival, his debut would end in disaster, being shown a straight red card in the 3-1 defeat at home to Wolves.
He certainly made his mark but was sidelined to serve a three-game suspension.
Mowatt would return to Heckingbottom’s side and make ten more appearances, including scoring a consolation goal – his first for the club – in the 3-2 defeat to Bristol City at the end of the season.
The Tykes would finish 13th in their first year back in the Championship.
And Mowatt’s Barnsley career would take a twist the following campaign.
He played twice for the Tykes before being sent out on loan to League One Oxford United.
It was a deal until the end of the season and looked strange eight months after signing for the club on a long-term deal.
Nevertheless, plenty of Barnsley’s fans supported the move; citing their hopes it would make him better and work harder once he arrived back at the club in the summer of 2018.
It worked for Moncur. Hopefully this can be a kick up the backside to help him come back fighting for a starting XI place. #YouReds
— Rich Broughton (@RSBroughton) August 31, 2017
No shock to me alot more harder working midfielders on board. Good luck to the lad
— Kieron (@kez0880) August 31, 2017
Could be a good move for him, needs game time to improve himself. Good luck to him.
— kate smith (@SmithKate2015) August 31, 2017
He scored three times and was sent off once during his 34 games for the Us.
Mowatt would be a part of the side the finished 16th in League One before returning to Oakwell.
And when he did, he found his parent club had been relegated to the third-tier without him being able to help.
So come the 2018/19 season, Mowatt had played regularly and was raring to go to get his club back to the Championship where he had last played for them.
It was a storming start to life back at Barnsley who were operating at League One level with the 23-year-old being awarded the club’s player of the month award for August.
— Barnsley FC (@BarnsleyFC) August 31, 2018
Much to many of the fans’ delight.
Well done Alex hard work pays off.
Carry on doing it on the Oakwell turf
— Philip Taylor (@pilleyphil) August 31, 2018
Fully deserved ????????????????
— tom logan (@tomlogan3000) August 31, 2018
Well done Alex Mowatt got my vote this time absolute class
— Nigel Taylor (@nij44) August 31, 2018
The loan move away worked wonders for the midfielder who has been an ever-present under Daniel Stendel this term, scoring twice.
Barnsley currently sit fourth in the table after 17 matches and are in with a reach chance of an immediate return to the Championship.
Mowatt has also been able to avoid being sent off so far this term, too.
It was a shocking move across the Yorkshire divide, and after a few bumps in the road, the signing of the former Leeds man is undoubtedly paying dividends this term with his powerful, commanding performances in the middle of the pitch for the Tykes.