It has been an incredible year to be a Barnsley supporter, hasn’t it?
After suffering relegation last season from the Championship, the Tykes’ decision to appoint Daniel Stendel as their new boss proved to be a masterstroke as over the course of 10 months, the German managed to completely transform the club’s fortunes.
By deploying a possession-based style of play, the 45-year-old encouraged his players to play in a positive fashion which eventually paid off as Barnsley went on a run of 20 games without defeat in League One.
After placing themselves in a healthy position to secure a top-two finish in the third tier, the Tykes suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Burton Albion last month which threatened to derail their campaign.
However, instead of cracking under the pressure of expectations, Stendel’s men responded in fine style by recording four consecutive victories which guaranteed an immediate return to the Championship for the Yorkshire-based outfit
Although the likes of Cauley Woodrow, Alex Mowatt and Kieffer Moore may have grabbed the headlines for their performances for Barnsley, it could be argued that without the calming presence of Adam Davies in goal, the club could very well be preparing for the lottery of the play-offs this weekend.
A fantastic shot-stopper, the 26-year-old conceded just 36 goals in 42 league appearances for the Tykes and topped the charts for the highest number of clean-sheets in the third tier (19) alongside Luton Town’s James Shea.
Yet despite his contributions for Barnsley, the £450k-rated star (via Transfermarkt) could be allowed to leave Oakwell on a free transfer in the summer as his current deal is scheduled to run out next month.
With The Sentinel reporting that Stoke City are interested in signing Davies as a replacement for the outgoing Jack Butland, it is clear that Stendel must do everything he can to keep the keeper at the club.
If they fail to convince him to stay, it would not be at all surprising if the Tykes suffer a season of struggle upon their return to the Championship.
What do you think Barnsley fans? Are you confident that Davies will stay at Oakwell this summer? Can your club survive in the second tier next season without him? Let us know below.
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