MARKUS Schopp says Barnsley are willing to be patient and take their search for ‘a couple more options’ to near the end of the summer transfer window.
The Reds are hopeful of recruiting a left wing-back and potentially an experienced central midfielder before the window closes on August 31.
Head coach Schopp told the Chronicle: “We will always have open eyes and we are still talking and planning.
“Hopefully we will have a couple more options in the future, but it is all about having patience. We will wait to find the right guys who can make us stronger and take us forward.”
Barnsley are determined to keep hold of their star players such as Cauley Woodrow, Michal Helik, Mads Andersen and Callum Styles who are all contracted until at least 2023. Schopp told the Chronicle: “I hope that nobody leaves. We have already a couple of exits of players who had experience, like Alex (Mowatt), (Michael) Sollbauer and even (Conor) Chaplin. They helped us get where we ended last season.”
Styles, who impressed at left wing-back last season, started at Cardiff City in his natural position of central midfield on Saturday before moving to the left late on as Ben Williams was substituted having made his first appearance in 400 days due to injury.
Williams, 21, is the only natural left-back in the squad although Styles, Jordan Williams and Clarke Oduor have all been used there.
Jordan Williams and Oduor both played at left wing-back in Tuesday’s EFL Cup loss to Bolton Wanderers.
Schopp said he was relieved Ben Williams played well on Saturday after his injury but hinted that he still wants another player in that position.
“We have a good option with Ben but we know we have a tough schedule until the end of the season. There was a big question mark on this position and we got a good answer on Saturday but we’re still aware of the situation and looking at opportunities.
“Ben did an awesome job in Cardiff but also Liam (Kitching, the left centre-back) didn’t play for a long time. It was not an easy situation to handle for planning the game because you never know, after such a long time without games, what can happen. We were prepared to react if it was a difficult game for them but both made a very good performance.”
As for central midfield, Barnsley have 21-year-olds Styles and Josh Benson – who impressed off the bench on his debut in Cardiff then started in Bolton – as well as 22-year-olds Romal Palmer and Herbie Kane, with the latter now recovered from injury.
Schopp has hinted that the Reds are looking for more experience in that position in the window but said last week that he wanted to give the young players a chance. Asked what he thought of their first two games, he told the Chronicle: “There were a lot of good situations but there were a lot of situations we have to improve, not just in midfield. We have to be patient because a young player makes more mistakes than an experienced player. But we want to give them the opportunity to make the next step and we will help them to do that.”
The Reds sold Elliot Simoes to French sister club AS Nancy last week.
The 21-year-old Angola international had played 27 games for Barnsley, scoring three goals, but was loaned out to League One Doncaster Rovers earlier this year. He was not in the squad as Nancy drew 1-1 with Bastia on Corsica on Wednesday, with ex-Red Mamadou Thiam netting for Daniel Stendel’s side who now have one point from three second division games.
Others could also leave the club in this window, either on loan or permanently.
Midfielder Isaac Christie-Davies has been training with the under 23s and is still yet to make his debut after signing a three-year deal last summer then being loaned out to Slovakian club DAC earlier this year.