Centre-back Kacper Lopata is Barnsley’s first signing of the summer.

The 21-year-old has joined on a four-year deal as a free agent after spells last season at National League sides Southend United and Woking.

The six foot three defender was born in Poland, and has represented them at youth level up to under 21s, but has spent much of his life in the the UK.

He was in the academies of Southampton, Bristol City, Yeovil Town and Brighton who then gave him a professional contract but released him in 2020 without playing a game.

Lopata moved to Sheffield United and played in two EFL Cup games before being loaned out to Southend whom he joined permanently last summer. He was a regular in the Shrimpers’ defence this season but terminated his contract in March due to alleged unpaid wages, and was backed by an FA tribunal.

Lopata was linked with a move to Barnsley at the time, but signed a short-term deal with Woking who finished fourth then lost in the first round of the play-offs to Bromley.