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Whatever happens, Barnsley must address this position when summer transfer window opens: Opinion

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While their remarkable run may have come to an end on Saturday, there should be nothing taken away from the recent form of Barnsley.

Prior to their defeat to Sheffield Wednesday over the weekend, the Tykes had gone 12 games without defeat in the league, winning nine of those to climb into the Championship play-off places.

That is of course, an incredible effort for a side who only avoided an immediate relegation to League One on the final day of last season.

Given the success of that run that has now propelled the Tykes into the battle for promotion to the Premier League, it is inevitable that the club are now going to face a busy transfer window dealing with interest in the key men that have helped them get that far.

But as well as giving the Yorkshire club the job of fending off that interest, it also leaves them with the prospect of having to further strengthen their squad when the market reopens, in order to build on those impressive results and performances of the past few months.

One such position where the Tykes could certainly benefit from bringing in at least one new option, is between the posts.

Right now, the club do not seem to have an established first-choice goalkeeper for manager Valerien Ismael to chose from at Oakwell, with Jack Walton making 24 league appearances this season, in comparison with Brad Collins’ 14, despite the fact that neither of the duo have endured an extended spell on the sidelines this season due to injury or any other reason.

Given the uncertainty that that rotation could create for the back four in front of them, with the change the defence may have to make to accommodate the man behind them, you have to feel that is not going to help them to settle.

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Who sponsored Barnsley's shirt during the 1980/81 season?

As a result, you do feel as though Barnsley are going to need to settle on a particular number one going forward.

However, with neither of their two current senior options particularly well stocked when it comes to experience – at 24, Collins is two years Walton’s senior, but still relatively young for a goalkeeper – while both are still relatively short on game time at this level, with Collins so far amassing 33 Championship appearances in his career, in comparison to Walton’s 36.

Consequentially, with these two still really finding their feet at this level, there is the risk that errors, such as the one Collins made to almost gift Wednesday an opening goal on Saturday when he came rushing out of his area only to misjudge the flight of the ball, could start to prove costly for the Tykes as they look to build on their recent form.

With that in mind, you wonder whether Barnsley could be advised to go out and bring a more experienced ‘keeper in the summer, who can come in and provide a reliable presence in the Tykes’ area, to help settle the defence and avoid errors becoming too costly, while also providing Collins and Walton with a useful source of insight to help aid their development.

It seems therefore, that amid a window that has the potential to be busy in terms of both incomings and outgoings at Oakwell, a new goalkeeper for the Tykes, is something that Ismael and co. ought to be giving a fair amount of consideration to, at the very least.


UCLan Sports Journalism graduate, been writing for Football League World since March 2019. I've previously worked for the likes of Blackburn Rovers and Opta, among others.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Whatever happens, Barnsley must address this position when summer transfer window opens: Opinion

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