Patrick Thistle's Liam Lindsay
Now, the term ‘stepping stone’ never tends to go down well with football fans. Yet, the phrase certainly comes to mind when you think of Barnsley – though that is no bad thing.
Connor Hourihane, Alfie Mawson, Sam Winnall and Marley Watkins all made a major step forward in their careers when moving to Oakwell. And, after developing impressively in Yorkshire, all have now moved on to bigger and, purportedly, better things.
Therefore, it appears that Partick Thistle youngster Liam Lindsay would be making an excellent decision if he puts pen to paper with Barnsley this summer. The Star claims that the 19-year-old was all set to move to League One Oxford United for £350,000 but, with speculation suggesting manager Michael Appleton could become Craig Shakespeare’s assistant at Leicester City, it appears that a deal has fallen through.
And the report adds that this makes Barnsley the new frontrunners – although they would be priced out if Premier League clubs made their move.
Lindsay, who enjoyed an excellent breakthrough season in 2016/17, has certainly been linked with so-called ‘bigger’ clubs. The Express claimed recently that Rangers were keen on kick-starting their defensive overhaul with his signing.
And the Scottish Sun claims Leeds United were interested as far back as December. The Yorkshire rivals lost Kyle Bartley after the loanee returned to Swansea City at the end of last season, meaning Pontus Jansson needs a new defensive partner.
Leeds have lost Kyle Bartley
Lindsay would be far from the only promising youngster at Elland Road and the likes of Lewis Cook, Sam Byram and, most probably, Charlie Taylor have earned a move to the Premier League after impressing in Leeds colours.
However, if Lindsay chooses Barnsley instead, and gets the chance to work under the highly-rated Paul Heckingbottom, there’s every chance he could follow in the footsteps of Mawson and co and earn the club a substantial profit in the foreseeable future.
And Lindsay himself could benefit from choosing a club renowned for its ability to help young players realise their potential.