Defender Josh Earl has joined Barnsley from League One’s bottom club Fleetwood Town for an undisclosed fee.

The 25-year-old is six foot four and can play left-back, left wing-back or left-sided centre-back.

He has signed until 2027 with a club option for another year so becomes the Reds' second signing of the January transfer window after Donovan Pines.

Earl began his career at Preston North End, making 67 Championship appearances, having spent a decade in their academy including during Reds boss Neill Collins’ year as a player at Deepdale in 2009/10.

He was loaned to League One clubs Bolton Wanderers – who Barnsley visit on Saturday – Ipswich Town and Burton Albion before joining Fleetwood at the start of last season.

He has made 72 appearances for the Cod Army, who are currently 11 points from safety, including all of the 2-2 draw at Oakwell in October. He has six career red cards including two this season, in which he has also scored four goals.

Collins said: “He’s a very good player – good age, good experience.

“It’s an area in the team we need support in. He can play back left wing-back, left-back and left centre-back. That is valuable at any level.

“We’re delighted to have him. He will make the team and squad better. I was really impressed when we scouted him and played against him.

“We haven’t had anyone who can play left-back which restricts our ability to change systems.

“He is good on the ball and can go past players.”