A player by player look at Barnsley's dealings in the January transfer window.
Probably the most exciting signing of the window, joining from Huddersfield until 2026.
The midfielder caught the eye for Huddersfield in their two wins against Barnsley last year – in the FA Cup then the league game in April when the Reds were relegated.
He then played in their Championship play-off final loss but has found gametime limited this season.
Russell, 22, is a dominant physical presence at six foot four but also very gifted on the ball. The Reds needed central midfield cover due to injuries and he should provide it along with Josh Benson when he returns to fitness.
He came through the Chelsea youth system then spent the 2020/21 season on loan to League One Accrington.
He could make his debut in Portsmouth.
The Scottish striker’s record of no goals in 12 SPL appearances this season is not ideal, nor is the fact that he has played just one minute of competitive football in three months. But the Reds were never going to make seemingly perfect signings in this window and their data-led searches tell them he is a player who will get chances due to his movement – whether he can take them is the key. The likes of Carlton Morris arrived with CVs which did not herald the huge impact they would have on the team.
HARRY ISTED AND ADAM HAYTON
It has been a busy week in the goalkeeping department.
Isted joined the Reds on loan with Jack Walton going the other away permanently. The 25-year-old has so far made three appearances in professional leagues but is set to be Brad Collins’ understudy for the remainder of the season. Isted was in the Southampton academy then spent a year with Stoke before moving to Luton in 2017. He played in the FA Cup against Chelsea as a substitute in 2018 then was loaned to non-league clubs Chesham, Oxford City and Wealdstone before finally making his league debut for the Hatters at the end of last season. His only appearance this season was in a 2-0 loss at Stoke in November. Hayton, 18, pictured, joined from Tottenham. It is a signing for the future but he is very highly-rated at Oakwell so they jumped at the chance to get him in this window.
Barnsley recruited a much-needed new striker just five days into the window, although he was not fully fit or ready to start.
That was frustrating for fans who had been eagerly awaiting reinforcements up front.
The 23-year-old loanee had not played for parent club Cardiff since November, struggling with a hamstring problem then illness.
It has been more than a year since Watters last netted, and he has struggled in the Championship. But he scored seven goals in 14 appearances for League One MK Dons in last season – five in the league in as many starts – and the Reds will hope for something similar.
The former removal man is also expected to add pace, which has been sometimes lacking from Barnsley’s forward line this season. So far he has come off the bench four times without making a major impact.
The centre-back, on loan from Burnley, made an excellent debut against Accrington Stanley then scored at Oxford. He is the only signing who had been playing regularly, having made 26 appearances for League One Bristol Rovers this season. He is a different type of player on the right of the back three to Tom Edwards, whose injury led to the signing of Thomas.
Edwards is a natural right-back who was more attacking than centre-back Collins, who adds different strengths with his height and aerial prowess.
He had worked under Michael Duff in Burnley’s academy, where he also knew Josh Benson and Adam Phillips.
The 24-year-old Irish right-wing back has returned to England after a three-year spell at Ipswich in which he made just two appearances.
He has signed a three and a half year deal with the Reds, but is waiting to make his debut after last playing for St Patrick’s Athletic three months ago. He is expected to be match-fit later this month.
His excitement and passion came across in introductory interviews but he will also look to impress on the pitch, most likely as a back-up to Jordan Williams at first. His presence does mean that Williams could move into the back three if the Reds were low on centre-backs.
The Stoke defender’s loan to Barnsley was cancelled after he picked up a knee injury which was likely to sideline him for the majority of the rest of the season. It was a major blow for the Reds after Edwards formed a solid and balanced back three alongside Mads Andersen and Liam Kitching. Bobby Thomas looks a good replacement but Duff indicated the club would look at Edwards again in the future.
The forward missed games over the Christmas period due to an issue in his personal life which meant he wanted to move back up to Scotland – joining Motherwell permanently on deadline day. Having signed in 2020 then being loaned out for two years, Aitchison was one of the few forwards left at Oakwell at the start of this season. He scored three goals in 23 games, heading home at Ipswich and Fleetwood – a last-minute winner – then got his only Oakwell goal last week against Accrington in his final appearance for the club.
He was out of contract in the summer.
The centre-back moved on loan to League One relegation-battlers Burton Albion for the remainder of the season. He made his debut in the 2-0 win at home to Oxford United on Saturday.
Moon, 22, played 26 times in the Championship last season – a symptom of the chaos at Oakwell as, even according to academy manager Bobby Hassell, he was ready for a handful appearances at most. But he was thrown into the relegated side and cruelly became a scapegoat among the fans.
Despite the drop in levels, he has not played a minute of League One football under Michael Duff – with all four Reds appearances this season coming in the EFL Trophy.
It was harrowing to watch him get ready to come on at Derby earlier this month when Tom Edwards went off injured, only for Duff to decide to put midfielder Josh Benson on at right wing-back instead.
Moon is understood to be contracted beyond this season.
Duff has praised his attitude and professionalism while he has enough ability to make a career in professional football.
He may be missed at Oakwell this season as the Reds are now short on cover at centre-back.
Another centre-back, Amir Ariely, moved permanently to Hapoel Be’er Sheva in his native Israel.
Of all the players expected to be bought in the final days of the transfer window, Barnsley’s back-up goalkeeper was not one of them.
But Luton – whose goalkeeper coach Kevin Pilkington worked with Walton at Oakwell – gave him the chance to move back to the Championship. Barnsley received a transfer fee, albeit a modest one, for a player who was out of contract in the summer and removed a reasonably high-earner from the wagebill – freeing up some cash to spend on other players.
Walton joined the Reds a decade ago as a 15-year-old and was first in the first team squad in the 2014/15 season. He has made 62 appearances, most of which came in 2020 when he was one of the stars of the ‘great escape’ – making a vital one-on-one save at Luton which was a huge moment in that remarkable survival. His career has stagnated somewhat over the last two years due to the form of Brad Collins, with only cup runs and injuries to Collins giving him gametime. He has made major errors in cup games this season.
Luton are well-known for signing players from Barnsley, or ex-Reds, having bought Carlton Morris and Cauley Woodrow in the summer to join Jordan Clark and Luke Berry.
A strange Oakwell stint for the 22-year-old who was signed for the under 23s then thrown straight into Markus Schopp’s first team in the Championship before being frozen out under Poya Asbaghi and used sparingly by Michael Duff.
His inclusion was briefly a ‘cause celebre’ last season for some Barnsley fans who had been impressed by him then questioned why he was not used in the relegation fight. But his performances were hit and miss as he played in his original position of central midfield as well as centre-back and right wing-back.
He signed a new contract in the summer but, having only played 15 minutes of League One football in August, left permanently for League Two Northampton Town last week.
After impressing with four goals for seventh tier Guiseley on loan in the first half of the season, the midfielder was sent out on loan to Buxton in the sixth tier. He was an unused substitute for the Reds for three games between the two loans.
He has been a regular for Buxton so far in the National League North, winning 3-0 at Blyth Spartans this week.
The 20-year-old from Darfield is out of contract at the end of the season, along with fellow Barnsley lad Aiden Marsh.
Kareem Hassan-Smith has been loaned to Guiseley.