Paul Heckingbottom has a bubbling reputation in football, despite Barnsley’s current position in the league. One of the main reasons for this is how he develops players, and unfortunately the reason Barnsley are so low is because they decided to sell all of his assets. The club sat in 8th place last season before they decided to sell their three best players and leave Heckingbottom picking up the pieces.
5 Players of the Heckingbottom era at Barnsley
Ryan Kent – One of the best young players at Liverpool but he needed to play games and under Heckingbottom at Barnsley he flourished as we well know, tearing us apart in the fixture at Oakwell last season. He progressed that much at Barnsley that Jurgen Klopp was considering for this seasons squad for Liverpool. He has now been loaned to the Bundesliga before coming back and heading back to the Championship under Lee Johnson at Bristol City.
Sam Winnall – A player that Leeds tried to sign a few years back when Steve Evans was in charge but no luck there, and what a shame that is. Winnall is a very good striker and is now making his mark at Derby, he turned the game on its head when he came to Elland Road this season, bagging two to win the game. He was converted from a decent League One striker to a very good Championship one under Paul Heckingbottom. Would love a player like this at Leeds.
Conor Hourihane – Another who was sold last January, along with James Bree and Sam Winnall when the club were chasing a play-off place. One of the best midfielders in the division now playing his football at Aston Villa. Under Heckingbottom Hourihane became an Ireland international and was one of the most sought after players in the division before Villa came in with a £3 million bid. Probably the most successful of the players who left last January.
Alfie Mawson – Probably no need to introduce this player, now at Swansea and occasionally captain of the side. Mwason was a key player as Heckingbottom went on the rampage in League One to gain promotion at the first time of asking under him, in just half a season. His performances under first Lee Johnson and then more blatantly under Paul Heckingbottom meant a Premier League side came calling and he hasn’t disappointed. despite Swansea struggling Mawson has been a very good signing for the Welsh side.
Mason Holgate – Now a regular centre-back in the Everton squad and very highly rated the young defender was part of Paul Heckingbottom’s development squad at Barnsley. The youngster was coached by the new Leeds boss during his time in South Yorkshire and broke into the Barnsley side before Everton parted with some decent money to sign the centre-back.