The midfielder, who will turn 24 tomorrow, was given the armband for the opening day win over Fulham in which he set up the goal for Luke Thomas. The German played 42 games last season, scoring twice, while on loan from Hannover 96 where he previously worked with Oakwell head coach Daniel Stendel who chose to take the option to make the move permanent earlier this summer.
Coach Dale Tonge told the Chronicle: “Mike has been excellent in pre-season. He showed a lot of ownership and leadership during the summer – especially during the trips to France and Germany. That was a big part of the decision. He was very good against Fulham and hopefully it is the start of a really good season for him.
“Mike has the armband but the onus isn’t just on one player to lead the team. We have a leadership group of some of older players who we expect to do certain things on and off the pitch."
Stendel said: “Mike proved in the last few weeks he has more responsibility in our squad. He’s only been here one year but he is one of the older players. With players like Cameron (McGeehan), he’s one of my key players. All the players are better than they were, but Mike had the armband.”