Mads Andersen’s name is pronounced ‘mess’ but he is promising that Barnsley’s defence will be anything but with him at the heart of it. 

The 21-year-old Dane signed a four-year contract with the Reds with the option of a fifth in the club’s favour, after a fee of about £800,000 was agreed with Danish SuperLiga club AC Horsens. 

The centre-back joins the club which had the best defensive record in the EFL in the 2018/19 season, keeping a club record 21 clean sheets and conceding only 39 goals from their 46 matches as they gained promotion from League One.

“It’s really good to join a defence like that,” Andersen told the Chronicle.

“21 clean sheets is amazing and it will be hard to beat in the Championship. I am looking forward to playing with good defenders and helping the club.”

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Barnsley’s backline is set to be much-changed following promotion, with goalkeeper Adam Davies and centre-back Liam Lindsay announced as Stoke City players this week. Andersen and the highly-rated Ethan Pinnock have been the only senior centre-backs in pre-season training at Oakwell this week.

Andersen came through the youth system at Danish giants Brondby then moved to fellow top flight club Horsens in 2017. He played 24 games for Horsens, scoring four goals, before being signed by the Reds.  Asked to describe himself as a player, Andersen said: “I am aggressive, powerful and I have good communication. I put in a lot of tackles and I am good on the ball as well.  I played for ten years for one of the biggest clubs in Denmark. 

“I left Brondby to get some minutes and make sure I got plenty of games. The Championship is, of course, a step up from the SuperLiga but I am confident in myself.”

Andersen says the move to Oakwell has come around quickly. He said: “At the start of June, I was on vacation with one of my friends then my agent Marc Nygaard (former Queens Park Rangers midfielder) called me. I had not heard of Barnsley but, of course, I researched immediately on my phone. I heard they had promotion and they had a lot of young players who want to do something really good. I wanted to come and I am glad to be here.”

Andersen has been impressed by what he has seen of the club so far.  He signed last week then returned to Denmark for the weekend before coming back to Barnsley for pre-season training this week. He said: “It’s a really nice place. I love the stadium, the facilities and the people. It feels like a family.

“It is an ideal place to be because there are a lot of players who are very young and ambitious like me. I don’t know anyone in Barnsley or England but I will make friends, no problem. I can’t wait to get started.”