When Barnsley announced the permanent signing of Lloyd Isgrove from Southampton in 2017, their supporters had every right to be excited given his previous escapades at Oakwell whilst on loan at the club.
During a highly impressive eight-month spell with the Tykes, the midfielder played a starring role in helping the club achieve promotion to the Championship by scoring the decisive goal in their 3-1 play-off final victory over Millwall at Wembley Stadium in 2016.
With the world at his feet, it was expected that Isgrove would kick on for Barnsley yet injuries limited him to just 16 appearances during the 2017/18 campaign in which his side were relegated from the second tier.
Despite failing to make the desired impact in his first full year in South Yorkshire, the fact that he had already displayed what he was capable of producing in the third tier must have filled the midfielder with confidence.
However, with Barnsley under new management following the arrival of Daniel Stendel, Isgrove was limited to just two appearances in the first half of the season as the Alex Mowatt and Cameron McGeehan formed a solid partnership in the middle of the park.
In need of first-team football, Isgrove left the club on loan in January to join Portsmouth in what turned out to be a disastrous decision. During his brief spell at Fratton Park, the £225k-rated ace (via Transfermarkt) failed to make any sort of impression on Kenny Jackett due to a number of injury issues.
Having returned to Barnsley earlier this month, it was of little surprise to anyone associated with the club that Isgrove turned out to be one of the players who Stendel decided not to offer a new deal.
Although some may question the decision not to offer him a new contract, it is clear that with the Tykes making the step up to the Championship next season, the midfielder simply does not possess the qualities needed to thrive at that level.
With both McGeehan and Mowatt expected to rule the midfield for years to come at Oakwell, Stendel could use the wages freed up by letting Isgrove leave to add a new addition to his squad in the summer.
What do you think Barnsley fans? Was it the correct decision to cut ties with Isgrove? Or was it harsh to let him go given his injury issues last season? Let us know below.
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