DEVANTE Cole wishes he had never left Barnsley the first time but is delighted to be back at Oakwell for a second stint.
The 26-year-old – who has been at ten clubs including a 2014 loan spell with the Reds – has signed a three-year deal at Oakwell.
He was the club’s first first team signing of the off-season.
Cole joined Barnsley as a 19-year-old on loan from Manchester City seven years ago and scored seven goals in 23 games for the League One Reds before being loaned to MK Dons for the second half of that season.
Cole told the Chronicle: “I definitely wish I stayed longer at Barnsley but you make decisions as a footballer and hindsight is a great thing.
“I am back now and I just want to continue what I did last time and do even better.”
Cole added: “I am delighted because I really enjoyed my time first time.
“Seeing what they did last year, I am really glad to be back.
“I really enjoyed playing here, I scored my first professional goal so it has a special place in my memory and the fans were really good to me
“It’s always easier to go back somewhere you know, especially when you have done well there before.”
Cole is the son of former Manchester United superstar and England international Andy.
Devante said: “He’s a good influence. It always helps having him in the background to bounce things off.”
Cole left Manchester City in 2015 and, after half a season at Bradford City, spent two years at both Fleetwood Town – scoring 22 goals in 94 games – then Wigan Athletic who never started him in a league game and loaned him to Burton Albion then Motherwell.
He joined Doncaster Rovers last year but did not score in nine games before returning to Motherwell where he top-scored with 12 goals in 31 appearances but turned down a contract extension to move to Oakwell.
Cole has never played above League One in England, in which he has scored 32 goals in 158 games.
“I was there for two years with Wigan but didn’t quite get a chance so now I hope I can take this chance with both hands and really show people I can play at this level.
“This is a chance to settle down.
“A few people have said ‘he’s had a few clubs’ but sometimes you run around until you find a home.
“The first time was very good and hopefully the second time will be. I am committed for three years now.
“I showed people what I can do at Motherwell and now I hope to continue that.”
Cole – who could be used across the Reds’ front three – said he was also attracted to Barnsley by the length of the deal and the chance to work with head coach Valerien Ismael.
“When the three years were offered, it was a vote of confidence.
“When I spoke to Valerien, he seemed to know everything about me which is always good.
“I got a good feeling for him and I think he got a good feeling about me.
“Everyone knows Barnsley are going down the route of stats like Brentford have had great success with.
“I know I will fit in with their style of play because that’s what I have been brought in for.
“I can play all three positions.
“I have always been central but recently played off left. I know the manager picks and chooses players for certain games and rotates players.”