Barnsley have a habit of significantly helping rather impressive defenders, to say the least, don’t they? In recent years, John Stones, Mason Holgate and Alfie Mawson have all left Oakwell for a shot in the Premier League and they have all taken it, just some to more of an extent than others. It is Mawson, though, who deserves to have some light shed on his time at Barnsley and beyond given how intriguing his rise to prominence has been.
Mawson started his professional career at Brentford before undergoing numerous loans across the Conference, both South and Premier division loans as well as a season in League Two with Wycombe Wanderers.
It was in the South East at Wycombe that Mawson excelled in what was only meant to be a one-month loan, which was eventually extended until the end of the season as he started all but one of the League Two games and the play-offs. His contract then ended at parent club Wycombe and his form there earned him a move to the Tykes where he took his game to the next level.
The then-21-year-old effortlessly made the step up to League One in 2015 as he captained Barnsley in the first half of the campaign and ended up featuring 58 times across the season, missing just one game in their play-off-winning campaign. It was at Oakwell he could really display his true talent in being very mature for his age, showing a great reading of the game that meant he did not have to go flying into the tackle as well as developing the remarkable range and accuracy of his passing.
Mawson performances caught the eye of Swansea City who soon snapped him up from the Reds to bring him to the Premier League. He soon earned his place in the side there and was a mainstay during their relegation campaign, in which he may have been inconsistent at times but he was spearheading a shaky defence for the campaign and on the whole, held his own rather well.
He avoided a campaign with the Swans in the Championship, though, as he moved to Fulham in the summer in a deal that could rise to £20m, as per the BBC. But after just one season in the Premier League, Fulham have gone straight back down with Mawson unable to feature for a large section of the season due to knee injuries.
The 25-year-old will now be part of the rebuilding process at Fulham in an attempt to return the Cottagers to the top division of English football once again. He will be hoping he can avoid an injury-stricken campaign like this season and move on to really establish himself at Fulham. Whatever happens, though, it is clear that Barnsley played a key role in his development as a player and person during his career to date.
Barnsley fans, what are some of your standout memories of Alfie Mawson? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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