With Cauley Woodrow heading to Luton, we look at which other Barnsley players could exit this transfer window
One of the most likely players to be sold, despite his performance levels for Barnsley dipping last season – like most of his colleagues.
He is a 22-year-old who can play various positions, a full international, who has already had six campaigns in senior football and, despite last season, one of the most exciting young players at Oakwell in recent decades.
He looked assured for his adopted nation Hungary in central midfield against some of the best players in the world in this recent international break, carving open European champions Italy’s defence with a delicious pass to set up a goal then starting against Germany and England, who were crushed 4-0. That will boost his profile, with all three newly promoted Premier League clubs – Nottingham Forest, Fulham and Bournemouth – reportedly interested.
Forest, whose chief executive Dane Murphy negotiated Styles’ current contract when at Oakwell, might have an advantage.
With Hungarian giants Ferencvaros and Turkish club Besitkas – where his former Reds boss Valerien Ismael now works – also reportedly interested, there could be a bidding war which might drive his price up. Barnsley will surely be looking for a multi-million deal. They turned down £1.5million in January.
Styles is yet to prove himself in central midfield in the Championship, but has never been given a long run of games there. He made a name for himself at left wing-back in 2020/21 then was shunted into various positions in the shambles that was last season, which he ended as a right winger or number ten – without much success. The less frantic tempo of the Premier League or overseas football may suit Styles whose skill levels and passing range are excellent.
Another international footballer who is highly likely to leave Oakwell this summer.
The centre-back has previously admitted that playing in the third tier of English football is not compatible with his dreams of representing Poland at the World Cup in November, and more generally reaching the highest level of club football.
He has one year left on his contract and will be 27 early next season so, even if the Reds had not been relegated, they would probably have looked to move him on – although the profit may now be less.
Clubs in the top divisions of major European leagues are thought to have registered an interest. Helik has been superb for Barnsley, regularly topping statistics in the Championship for clearances, interceptions and headers won – with his form earning him seven international caps.
Although his standards slightly dropped last season, especially early on, he was still one of the Reds’ better performers and won Players’ Player of the Year.
He missed the final month of last season – which essentially ended all hopes of an unlikely survival – with an ankle injury which also kept him out of this month’s Poland squad.
He has been back at Oakwell this week but for injury rehab rather than full training.
The goalkeeper returned to Oakwell three weeks ago for rehab work as he is recovering from a shoulder injury which ended his season in early April.
It is hoped he will be fully fit for the start of the season.
Collins, 25, does not deserve to be in League One after an excellent season in which he was deservedly voted Player of the Year by the fans.
That will have alerted other clubs but it is fairly unusual for goalkeepers to be bought and sold at Championship level.
He is under contract for two more years so the Reds may hope to keep him as a consistent presence in a promotion challenge.
If Collins does stay as number one, the future of Jack Walton will be unclear as he finished last season fairly well and is unlikely to want another campaign on the bench in League One.
It feels unlikely that both will stay for the whole season, especially following the signing of New Zealand international Jamie Searle.
Although it is understood Searle was signed because he is seen as a good prospect, not as anyone’s direct replacement.
Barnsley do not need three senior goalkeepers, as well as highly-rated teen Kieran Flavell.
The right-back was one of the players whose performance levels dipped the most last season.
But he has shown he can excel in the Championship and, if he can reset during the summer and find his best form, he could be a fine player in League One.
Blackburn Rovers are one of several Championship clubs thought to have been interested in Brittain but, like with most players on this list, are likely to have to meet the Reds’ valuation – unless there is an August panic.
A factor which may lead to his exit is that right wing-back, is shaping up to be one of the stronger areas of the squad.
Jordan Williams – now nearing full fitness – appeared to have ousted Brittain from the side before his season was ended by injury in February, while Will Hondermarck has also been trained up to play there.
Brittain, 24, is contracted for another year with the Reds having an option to extend it until 2024.
With Woodrow leaving, it feels crucial for Barnsley to keep Morris next season to have a proven goal threat – but he is certain to have admirers. If you were in charge of recruitment at a Championship club, and could only sign one Barnsley player this summer, it would be very hard to look past Morris. The striker, 26, has made an outstanding impact since arriving at Oakwell in January of last year – scoring 16 goals in 33 starts, often terrorising Championship defences and carrying a poor side for much of last season in an attacking sense. The drawback is his injury record, but he would argue he has simply been unlucky with a series of injuries to different areas.
He is under contract until 2024 and not thought to be on untenable wages for League One in which, if he replicates his previous displays for Barnsley in a functioning side, he should be among the best strikers.
By all accounts, he has looked in top form in training this week.
It may be case of, initially, what level of offers come in for him and then, if he stays into August, how much of a financial hole the Reds still have to plug as the deadline grows near.
While Helik often gets more of the attention, his centre-back partner has also proved himself to be a very good Championship defender and arguably has a higher ceiling in terms of the level he could reach.
At 24, the Dane has more than 100 Championship appearances on his CV and dealt with a very difficult start to his Reds career then almost took them to the top flight, and was captain for much of last season.
The Reds can have him under contract for another two seasons so will be holding out for a large offer, but certainly he is one who is likely to be of interest to other clubs. He may be worth more after an excellent year in League One.
Should he stay, assuming Helik leaves, the prospect of him in the centre of a back three with potentially Robbie Cundy and Liam Kitching flanking him in Michael Duff’s 3-5-2 system should be an exciting one for supporters.
It will be up to Michael Duff to assess the squad and, by August, decide on those who are unlikely to play so can be either loaned or sold.
Aaron Leya Iseka is thought to be a high-earner who could leave this summer, while it is not clear where winger Luke Thomas or Clarke Oduor, who is yet to truly impress at left-back or on the wing while seeing himself as a number ten, will fit into Duff’s formation.
All three have been back in training ahead of tomorrow’s friendly at Worksop, with the squad for that game and Duff’s post-match interview potentially enlightening us further on summer plans. Players who barely featured for much of 2022 such as Josh Benson – Duff’s former player at Burnley – and Devante Cole, whose father Andy played with Duff at Turf Moor, may have a chance for a fresh start at the club.
Herbie Kane has been back at Oakwell for rehab work following his groin injury which may not be as bad as first feared.
The extra games in the EFL Trophy could mean that the Reds carry a slightly larger squad, at least until January, with under 23s used in that competition.