The Reds – who begin their Championship season at home to Fulham tomorrow – have until 5pm on Thursday to sign new players. Head coach Daniel Stendel suggested on Saturday that Barnsley were unlikely to add to their ten new signings but his assistant Dale Tonge said yesterday that ‘one or two’ could arrive in the next six days.
Tonge said: “We would be happy with this squad at the end of the window. It’s common knowledge that we have signed more players this summer than for a lot of years. We are looking forward to working with this group and developing them.
“We feel like we have our squad now. Maybe we will get one or two in, but the recruitment department will have to deal with that. If that happens, great, but if not then we’re happy with what we’ve got. It would be nice to also add some experience but we’re really happy with what we’ve got.”
Left-back is a position in which Barnsley have been looking to recruit all summer, with Dani Pinillos yet to return to full match-fitness after an operation while 20-year-old Ben Williams has played just 11 league games in his career. One of several left-backs they are understood to be interested in Leeds United’s Tom Pearce.
The 21-year-old has played seven Championship games for the Whites, scoring in the 2-1 success over Barnsley in April last year, before he played nine games on loan to League One Scunthorpe United earlier this year. Should he sign, Pearce would be the third player to move from Leeds to Oakwell this summer following Mallik Wilks and Aapo Halme.
Tonge said: “We had conversations about quite a few of the Leeds boys, and Pearce was one of them. He’s played at the level, maybe not many minutes, and he’s obviously a very good player. At this moment, we haven’t made any approach. At the start of the summer, we had that conversation about left-backs because of Dani’s injury and the lack of experience at the level we’re going into.”
Kieffer Moore, last season’s 19-goal top-scorer, is of interest to several other Championship clubs but the Reds are hopeful of keeping him by the end of Thursday which is also his 27th birthday. Tonge said: “I know he is getting linked in the press with quite a few clubs. “As of now, we have not had any new approaches and they wouldn’t be particularly welcome. If we sign anyone, we will be looking to add players, not replace others.”
After the Sheffield United friendly on Saturday, Stendel said he did not expect any more new signings to be made. He told the Chronicle: “At the moment, I think this is our squad. We will see what is possible. The best way is that we train with the players that we have.”
He added: “We are looking for players but it’s not so easy. From one side, we want young players but, from the other side, we cannot sign every player we want because we need more money. We will try to look for players and maybe we will get an option.”
Barnsley’s squad averages 22 in age and the oldest player in many friendlies has been 24. Stendel said: “The idea is we need a little bit more experience. We have signed only players who have not played in the Championship. We have lost players who have played very well for us last season. We have signed players who can improve but the question is: how fast can they improve?”
Asked about extending his own contract, which has a year to run, Stendel said: “We will see what happens in the next weeks. “I am happy in Barnsley, I can work with my style and the club is behind my style.”
Striker Victor Adeboyejo was loaned out to League One side Bristol Rovers on Friday then netted the winner in their friendly win over Plymouth Argyle the next day. The likes of Jared Bird, Jack Walton and Dylan Mottley-Henry could also be loaned out by the deadline of the end of the month for moves to lower league clubs or overseas sides.
Meanwhile, Barnsley are yet to name their captain for the new season. Tonge said the skipper would be revealed tomorrow before the game.