A deal by deal look at Barnsley's January transfer window in which they brought three in, sold one and loaned out nine.



The towering American international centre-back was spotted in the directors’ box for the New Year’s Day game against Wigan then, after returning to the US, his signing was announced minutes before the win over Bristol Rovers 12 days later.

Pines, 25, appears to be exactly what the Reds have needed in terms of a big physical presence in defence – having struggled in certain games with full-back Jordan Williams on the right of a back three.

He has not played a competitive game for more than four months since his last game for DC United on October 1 but is thought to have shown an exceptional level of fitness in all his medical tests and training.

He was on the bench at Bolton on Saturday, ahead of schedule, due to a lack of other options but did not need to come on, then played just over an hour in a friendly against Notts County on Tuesday.

As expected, he dominated in the air but also showed good recovery pace and, although he fired the ball out of play with an errant pass early on on a poor pitch, he improved on the ball throughout.

The American accent boomed around the academy pitches behind Oakwell as he organised from the middle of a back three, with the other players mainly under 21s. He should now be close to his first team debut in one of the three games this week.


The 25-year-old defender, who arrived on deadline day, is a highly-rated and experienced League One operator. He has gone from Fleetwood Town, adrift at the the bottom of the league and on a months-long winless run, straight into a promotion race.

He could return to his former club soon as Barnsley are due to visit Fleetwood a week on Saturday.

Earl laughed off suggestions that he could play left wing-back so is expected to feature mainly on the left of the back three – where he impressed on his debut on Saturday – and compete for his place with Jamie McCart who is returning to fitness after injury.

But he can also play in a traditional left-back role in a back four, unlike anyone else at Oakwell. Earl’s arrival allows them to switch formation if needed.


The Irish midfielder signed from League Two MK Dons just before the deadline on Thursday, with the deal confirmed the following day. It is a loan deal with a buy option in the summer while the Reds are thought to have paid a fee.

The 22-year-old has only started eight times in the fourth division this season and had last played on New Year’s Day. But he won MK’s Young Player of the Year last season and had previously impressed for Rochdale in League One and League Two.

He is an attacking midfielder signed to compete with the likes of Adam Phillips and Herbie Kane, providing cover for them along with Josh Benson who is returning from injury. Grant can also play the number ten role behind the strikers so Barnsley can change formation without having to drop John McAtee out of the front two.

He played in central midfield in the friendly with a lively and energetic performance.



The Hungary international’s loan move to Championship Sunderland is the latest twist in a very odd Barnsley career.

Styles was sensational behind-closed-doors in 2020 and 2021, looking like one of the most exciting Reds prospects in years, but has never rediscovered that form consistently in front of fans.

He excelled at left wing-back but has never been as consistently good for Barnsley in his preferred position of central midfield.

He played a big part in helping Hungary to the Euros, holding his own with and against Premier League and Bundesliga stars, but had not particularly lit up League One this season and was not always a guaranteed starter.

The move is best for all parties as Styles looks to rediscover his spark of a few years ago and the Reds get a substantial wage off the books as well as a player who, despite remaining professional and working hard for the team, clearly wanted to leave.

The move was nearly scuppered by an illness last week but Sunderland have still decided to bring him in, even if he can’t play for some time. It is a loan with a view to a permanent deal and, even if Sunderland don’t sign him, he could still impress at the Euros and get a move. He will have one year remaining on his contract at the end of the season.


Getting the Belgian striker out of the club has been a main aim for a long time and is a relief.

The 26-year-old, along with his compatriot Obbi Oulare, are among the worst signings in the club’s recent history. They were recruited by then chief executive Paul Conway on large wages, and understood to have no relegation clauses in their contracts.

Iseka showed some promise when he first arrived in 2021 but left with a record of three goals in 27 appearances, having never played in the league under Michael Duff – who questioned his work ethic – or at all under Neill Collins.

His loans to Adanaspor in Turkey and Hapoel Hadera in Israel were curtailed by an earthquake and the October 7 attacks in Israel respectively. He has now moved to Greek top flight club OFI Crete, scored on his debut and is due to face Olympiacos this weekend.

Iseka clearly has talent but never seemed the right fit for Barnsley’s style of play and the expectations placed on Reds players in training and games.


Collins said early on deadline day that the young centre-back would likely be loaned to the National League, before League One strugglers Cheltenham came in for him.

The loan to the relegation-battling Robins will be more experience for the former kitchen-fitter who joined from eighth-tier Pontefract last summer and has made six league starts.

Shepherd, 22, made some recent errors and does not quite look ready to play week in, week out for the Reds, despite making much more of a contribution this season than many expected.

He scored at Cheltenham in September but the linesman missed that the ball had crossed the line.

The Robins are still due to visit Oakwell in March but Shepherd will not be able to play.

He started on his debut on Saturday in a 3-1 home loss to Wycombe – registering a second successive assist after setting up Mael de Gevigney at Oakwell last week.


In August and September it would have been hard to imagine the Polish-born defender being loaned out in January.

He started Barnsley’s first nine games of the league season and generally performed well, before breaking his collarbone while going up for a header at Northampton on September 23. He was out for two months and has since made four substitute appearances, including a difficult cameo at Vale Park when the hosts almost came back from 3-0 down to draw.

Lopata is best suited to the middle of a back three with Donovan Pines and Mael de Gevigney likely to be chosen ahead of him, so a loan makes sense. He is contracted for three more years after this season so more experience at this level will aid his development.

Lopata was an unused substitute in a 3-0 loss at Fleetwood Town on Saturday then manager Andy Crosby was sacked.


The Scottish striker has had a bizarre season. He signed a three-year deal with Barnsley in July but was loaned out to Kilmarnock 38 days later having scored a diving header on his Reds debut against Port Vale and played four other games.

He did not score or start for Killie, coming off the bench 14 times, before being recalled and sent out to National League promotion challengers Oldham Athletic. He has so far come off the bench twice.

Another Scottish striker, Oli Shaw, also failed to score while on loan in the SPL then was recalled from Motherwell due to injury.


It had been clear for months that the Irish centre-back needed to be loaned out this window.

He returned in September from a year-long knee injury but only played in the EFL Trophy group stage with the likes of full-back Jordan Williams and youngster Shepherd chosen ahead of him in the back three.

He was loaned out to League Two Swindon Town and, after a win and clean sheet on his debut, played another 90 minutes in Saturday’s loss at Newport.

The 25-year-old still has another year on his contract at Oakwell.


The right wing-back became the fourth senior player in his position when he arrived in the summer, but still made three appearances.

He was then loaned out to National League Gateshead whose manager Mike Williamson moved to MK Dons in League Two and took Lofthouse with him in January. Barnsley were happy for him to change loan clubs and move up a division.

He started two games for the promotion-chasers but has been on the bench for the last three.


The midfielder from Darfield, who has come through the Oakwell academy, was unlucky to pick up a knee injury last summer when he may have got an opportunity due to a shortage of players in that position.

But when he returned he could not break into the first team squad and has been loaned out to Buxton in the National League North and has started three games. He is out of contract in the summer with the club having an option to extend it for a year.

Young goalkeepers Paul Cooper and Kieren Flavell have been loaned to Ashton United and Bradford Park Avenue respectively.