Barnsley have received some positive news in the build-up to the new season after influential midfielder Luca Connell agreed to a new long-term contract, as reported via the official club website.
Following yesterday’s news of the FA charge relating to those in power at the football club, Connell extending his contract is a much-needed boost for supporters. He has signed for another four years with the club holding an option for a fifth year.
Who is Luca Connell?
Liverpool-born Connell came through the youth ranks at Bolton Wanderers before Celtic won the race for the then-18-year-old.
The versatile midfielder would struggle to break into the first team at the Scottish giants and would spend a short loan spell at League Two’s Queen’s Park FC at the back end of the 2020-21 season before returning for the entire 2021-22 campaign with the club then competing in League One. He would end his two spells at the Glasgow outfit with an impressive record of 42 games, 10 goals and 11 assists and back-to-back promotions.
His time at Celtic would come to an end in the summer of 2022 and the Republic of Ireland Under 21 international would leave the club for Barnsley having failed to represent the first team.
Signing a three-year deal at Oakwell, Connell went on to be an integral part of the Barnsley side who would just fall short of promotion in the playoff final. After an impressive return of 10 assists from his 48 matches, the Irishman was awarded the Young Player of the Year accolade for 2022-23.
What’s been said?
When discussing the deal for his key midfield man, Barnsley FC CEO Khaled El-Ahma said, “We are pleased that Luca has chosen to continue his development at Oakwell. He made a great start to his Barnsley career last season, demonstrating his ability and maturity on the football pitch for a player of such a young age.”
EL-Ahma continued, “We are excited to see Luca continue to see his progression and his development as a player and human being here in Barnsley.”
Connell spoke exclusively to iFollow Barnsley after signing his new deal: “It’s brilliant. I’m obviously grateful that the Club decided to reward me for my efforts last year. I’m just looking forward to getting this season underway as well and getting going again.”
Connell’s contract extension is a huge boost for the football club and shows just how much they value him, tying to what could become a 5-year deal when he still had two remaining on his initial contract.
Both he and the club will be hoping he can inspire the Tykes to go one step further than they did last year and gain promotion back to the Championship.
At just 22, Connell has plenty of maturing to do and is someway from an age that is deemed peak years yet is already influencing the Barnsley side and is sure to attract suitors from higher up the pyramid, particularly if promotion is not achieved this year. The length of this contract gives the football club a level of security knowing that they are in a strong bargaining position should offers start to come in.