Conor Chaplin 47 matches, 13 goals
The best of last summer’s signings, he has looked more dangerous at a higher level than with Coventry City in League One last season. He only scored three goals in the second half of the league season, while he has been in and out of the 11 since the re-start.
But his tally of 11 Championship goals has only been beaten in the Reds’ last eight seasons at that level by Cauley Woodrow this season and Chris O’Grady in 2013/14. The 23-year-old has terrorised defenders at times with his pace, movement and superb finishing – especially when scoring seven goals in Gerhard Struber’s first seven games – so is likely to have many suitors this summer.
He is in the league’s top ten for shots in the penalty area and top five for goals in the box. Also caught the eye with his amusing ‘floss’ dance in Wednesday’s celebrations.
Alex Mowatt, 46, 3
Another good individual campaign for Barnsley’s captain fantastic in which he played the most minutes and was their most consistent performer. He is in the league’s top ten for assists, passes, key passes – which create chances – and blocked passes. Mowatt has been used in several different roles in a constantly-changing midfield but has remained reliable throughout. With a year left on his deal, Barnsley are keen to tie him down to a new contract but he is expected to assess other options.
Cauley Woodrow 42, 15
He looked likely to threaten the 20-goal mark before the re-start but has struggled since lockdown and finished the season with an 11-game goalless run. He has still been a superb performer for the Reds, who would have been relegated far earlier if not for him. He might have scored many more if he played up front all season but Struber used him mainly behind the strikers. His record of 34 goals in 77 games for Barnsley is impressive and he is another who could move on this summer. He has had the fourth most shots in the division this season but most of them have been from outside the box as he attempted to replicate his early wondergoals against Charlton, Brentford and West Brom. He is also in the league’s top ten for ‘unsuccessful touches’.
Jacob Brown 42, 4
Three goals in 39 league starts is clearly a disappointing return for a striker but it is only the 22-year-old’s second season in the Barnsley team and his first in the Championship or in that position. He is in the top ten in the division for assists with nine and has good pace, physicality, movement and skill. He is also in the Championship’s top ten for aerial balls contested and has lost the third most but no player in the division has blocked more passes. Brentford were interested in him in January and there could be approaches in the summer.
Luke Thomas 42, 2
His only league goal of the season came on the opening day, almost a year ago. The winger was a regular under Daniel Stendel but has been in and out under Struber who does not play natural wide men so Thomas has been used behind the strikers or in central midfield. He certainly adds to the team with his pace and direct running but needs to improve his end product as he is often too hesitant in the opposition’s penalty area. He has made the second most tackles for Barnsley and the most successful dribbles.
Mads Andersen 41
A difficult first season outside his native Denmark but one from which the 22-year-old centre-back will have learned a tremendous amount. After dismal errors which led to goals – usually by dithering on the ball instead of clearing it – against Derby, Blackburn and Preston, another one in the vital 1-0 home loss to Birmingham in February saw him dropped from the squad and looked to have ended his season. But, after impressing in training during the lockdown, he won his place back and – apart from a mistake at Stoke – has been nearly perfect alongside partner Michael Sollbauer whose experience has massively helped him. Andersen has made the second most interceptions in the Championship while he is also in the top ten for clearances. He has won the most aerial battles of any Barnsley player. If he can cut out the errors and improve his focus, he could be a superb defender for the Reds.
Aapo Halme 34, 4
After one of the worst Barnsley debuts in recent years, in which he was at fault for two goals in the 3-0 cup loss to League Two Carlisle, he is a candidate for the ‘most improved’ award. Although he lacks pace, the 22-year-old has been a fairly solid performer either at centre-back or in central midfield while he has recently been used as a makeshift striker off the bench and netted an equaliser at Luton. Barnsley’s only regular threat from attacking set pieces, he is their third top-scorer.
Jordan Williams 33
Given the number two shirt at the start of the season with his namesake Ben being made number three, they have both been in and out of the side. Jordan has had some difficult games – being cheered off by his own fans in Preston – but impressed at right-back before the lockdown and has done well in a back three in recent weeks, surging forward but also making good blocks, tackles and clearances. He is only 20 and has the potential to grow into a very reliable performer for the Reds.
Patrick Schmidt 30, 3
The Austrian striker has been on a Championship pitch for 416 minutes in total, which is less than five games, but he has scored three goals including 94th-minute winners at Millwall in December and at home to Nottingham Forest this week.
He has the best goals-per-minute ratio at the club but has faced criticism for struggling to make an impact in many of his short cameo appearanes – he did not touch the ball in more than a quarter of an hour on the pitch in Leeds last week and has had similar stats in many other matches. Barnsley did not intend for him to be a replacement for goal-scoring man mountain Kieffer Moore but that is what he has been, heaping extra pressure on a very different sort of player who only turned 22 this week.
Although only eight players have made more appearances this season, 25 have played more minutes than Schmidt, who also impressively set up the relegation-preventing goal on Wednesday. It must take a lot of mental strength to be on the bench all season but still be ready to make a major impact when it counts.
Mike Bahre 27, 1
Many Barnsley players have had difficult seasons, but few more so than the German. A year ago, he was named captain after turning a promotion-winning loan spell into a permanent deal but, after starting the season poorly, was dropped by mentor Daniel Stendel and lost the armband to Alex Mowatt. He has been in and out under Struber and has barely featured following the lockdown. He has the best pass completion rate in the squad this season with 80 per cent and is probably the most technically-skilled footballer but rarely makes an impact on matches in the attacking third.
Bambo Diaby 22, 1
Made a series of mistakes, along with Andersen, before being suspended in January for an alleged doping violation. The investigation has lasted six months which, although the coronavirus outbreak has sent other issues down the priority list, seems too long. Should he be found not guilty as he insists he is, he will have been robbed of half a season. The 22-year-old centre-back avoided a second successive relegation after finishing bottom of the Belgian top flight with Lokeren last year. He has blocked the most shots for Barnsley despite not playing since January and they have missed his huge physical presence at times.
Brad Collins 22
Aside from a terrible kick which gifted a goal to Stoke City in November, the goalkeeper had been slightly more consistent than his rival Sami Radlinger before Jack Walton leapfrogged them both. He has the most saves per game of the three but will face a battle with Walton for the number one shirt next season.
Ben Williams 21
Another learning campaign for the 21-year-old left-back. A whole-hearted player, he has impressed in some games like in Middlesbrough when he saved off the line twice but struggled badly in others such as the 4-0 loss in Stoke when two players he was marking from corners scored.
Sami Radlinger 18
The goalkeeper was signed by his former Hannover coach Stendel with the aim of playing out from the back but terrified Reds fans with some very risky play. He was never really punished for that and proved himself to be a good shot-stopper. He was in and out of the side through injury before returning to Barnsley after the lockdown to train for a month then leaving at the end of June having been unable to agree a new deal.
Toby Sibbick 18
He played at right-back, left-back, centre-back and central midfield as Stendel considered him one of the first names on the team sheet. Struber was not so keen, starting him only in his first game, so Sibbick reunited with his former boss at Hearts on loan in January.
Michael Sollbauer 18
The Reds broke their usual rule of signing only players aged 25 and under to re-unite Struber with the centre-back, 30, who was his captain at Wolfsberger. He was meant to bring experience, leadership and solidity to a very young defence and has done exactly that. His only real mistake was the own goal at Leeds last week but he showed his character by volunteering to do the next day’s press conference.
Kilian Ludewig 18
The right-back has shown why he starts for Germany under 20s with some fine performances. He has made the most tackles per game for the Reds and put in some excellent crosses such as the one headed in by Chaplin against Blackburn Rovers. He will have learned a lot from a challenging loan spell in a tough league. Sollbauer and Ludewig are pictured, below left.
Callum Styles 18, 1
He had started only one game until the last fortnight but has been excellent at left wing-back, scoring his first ever goal on Wednesday. The 20-year-old could be a key player for the Reds next season and is one of several who the fans can be excited about. Given his recent performances, he probably should have been in the starting 11 sooner.
Clarke Oduor 18, 1
A name that will now be forever etched into Barnsley folklore after his miraculous late strike secured their safety at Brentford. Struber gave him his first taste of league football then, after some very impressive performances, took him off at half-time twice and dropped from the squad. He had been barely used since the re-start but made the difference when it mattered.
Elliot Simoes 18, 2
Another young player who appears to have a bright future after getting a chance under Struber. The 20-year-old forward was playing non-league football last year but caused problems for Championship defences and scored at Pride Park then Loftus Road.
Marcel Ritzmaier 16
The least successful of the three players Struber recruited in January. The midfielder had been unpopular with many fans due to some ineffectual performances as well as his inclusion over young talent such as Callum Styles and Clarke Oduor. But he was much-improved of late and may be important next season.
Mallik Wilks 16, 1
He seemed the most exciting of last summer’s signings, after excelling with Doncaster Rovers, so was the biggest disappointment when he failed to perform. The forward showed only a few glimpses of his talent under big admirer Stendel, who sometimes played him on his own up front, but he never featured under Struber. Moved to Hull City permanently and was relegated on Wednesday.
Cam McGeehan 14, 2
Another season in which the midfielder failed to establish himself in the Championship before being loaned out to League One in January. The confidence gained from starring in the promotion season was knocked after gifting Sheffield Wednesday a goal at Hillsborough then he was in and out through injury before Struber barely used him due to alleged deficiencies off the ball. His goals came in damaging thrashings by Stoke and Preston. Loaned in January to Portsmouth who reportedly want to sign him permanently despite his decisive miss in the play-off semi-final penalty shoot-out.
Kenny Dougall 14
The Australian midfielder seemed destined for great things at the start of last season but never looked the same player after the first of two significant injuries during the League One campaign. He complained that Stendel should have brought him back sooner, then made five of his nine starts this season under caretaker Adam Murray before being mainly a substitute under Struber. He came off the bench at Queens Parker Rangers last month, and played some fine passes, but could not agree a contract extension so left ten days later with Struber saying Dougall’s style did not fit his.
Dimitri Cavare 11
One of the most frustrating footballers to play for Barnsley in recent years. Blessed with pace, power and technical skill, the Frenchman could have been one of the better full-backs in the division but he often let his team-mates down with a lack of concentration or, seemingly sometimes, a lack of effort. He was clearly seen jogging back in defence when a sprint was required, leading to goals for the likes of Brentford and Huddersfield. He ceased to be a guaranteed first choice under a frustrated Stendel then was given one game by Struber but gifted Middlesbrough the only goal and never played again. He moved permanently to FC Sion in February and played in the re-started Swiss league last month before getting injured.
Mamadou Thiam 9
The winger played every match during the promotion season but started this campaign as a substitute under Stendel then did not feature at all under Struber. Now released.
Jack Walton 9
Probably the Reds’ ‘player of the re-start’. The 22-year was third choice goalkeeper all season and had not made an appearance for 15 months when he was a shock starter at QPR. He kept the most clean sheets, with five, despite playing nine of 48 games and made some excellent one-on-one saves especially at QPR, Luton and Leeds. It is the second time he has been surprisingly thrown into the first team in the final games of a relegation fight but he has always performed well.
Dani Pinillos 5
One of the few players in the Barnsley squad with Championship experience at the start of the season, he started just two league games under Stendel then was not involved at all by Struber. He played mainly in the under 23s before being released after lockdown. No longer has the pace or dynamism for this level. The Spaniard criticised the club on Twitter for his treatment while he was out of the side.
Romal Palmer 3
The 21-year-old midfielder would probably not have played a professional game by now if not for the coronavirus. He impressed in training during lockdown and was a surprise starter in the first three games after the re-start before injury ended his season.
Jordan Green 2
The winger made two miserable appearances as a makeshift right-back off the bench when 3-0 down at home to Luton and 5-1 behind at Preston. Struber did not play him then loaned him out to League Two Newport County where he played 13 games, scoring once, before the lockdown.
George Miller 2
He came off the bench twice early on before being loaned out to League Two Scunthorpe United for whom he scored once in 19 games. The striker, 21, has impressed Struber in training since returning to Oakwell during the lockdown.
Matty Wolfe 1
Making your professional debut with 25 minutes left in a game the club you have been with for more than a decade has to win to keep their chances of staying up alive is a massively pressurised experience for a 20-year-old. But the midfielder from Wakefield, who is seen as a big talent at Oakwell after recovering from injuries, looked comfortable and almost scored against Nottingham Forest.
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2019/20 hindsight: A player by player review
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