Donovan Pines ‘ticks a lot of boxes’ for what Barnsley wanted in the January transfer window but he may not feature immediately in the first team, says Neill Collins.

The 25-year-old US international centre-back signed for the Reds until the end of next season with a club option for a further year.

The six foot five defender was a free agent after leaving DC United and last played on October 1, more than 100 days ago.

He is awaiting a visa but will also have to get up to match fitness.

Collins confirmed Pines would not face Carlisle United on Tuesday but did not want to provide a timescale of when he might be ready.

Collins told the Chronicle: “Donovan has not played since October. So we need to make sure that we put him in at the right time.

“We all agreed we needed a dominant centre-back with what we’ve lost.

“Donovan ticks a lot of those boxes and he’ll help us. But, like with Mael (de Gevigney), we have to help him settle in and realise he’s making a big jump from the MLS to a different style. "He’s got the attributes that will suit playing here but he’s a young player leaving his family. We will need to support him to get the best out of him.”

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Collins was aware of Pines from his time as coach of the Tampa Bay Rowdies. Pines played against them on loan to Loudoun United in 2019.

“I have coached against him on a couple of occasions. He was 19 or 20 and we drew 0-0 twice in large part because Donovan was fantastic and we couldn’t beat him in the box. We played against him in pre-season with DC United too. He’s a fantastic athlete at six foot five.”