Barnsley Eye Move For League Two Striker

Barnsley have reportedly made a move for Fleetwood Town striker Ronan Coughlan, according to journalist Alan Nixon.

Coughlan, a 27-year-old forward, transferred to the north-west outfit this January after an impressive stint with Waterford in the League of Ireland. The forward’s time at Highbury Stadium has been hampered by injuries, limiting him to only 13 appearances for the team so far.

The young striker began his career playing for his hometown club Limerick in 2014. Seeking new opportunities, he ventured across the Irish Sea to join Huddersfield Town. Unfortunately, his time at the Terriers did not culminate in a professional contract, leading him to return to his native land to play for Bray Wanderers.

Following a period at Bray, Coughlan had stints with multiple Irish clubs, notably St. Patrick’s Athletic and Cork City. However, it was at Waterford where he experienced the most success, showcasing his scoring prowess by netting an impressive 33 goals in just 29 games for the club.

After the end of the 2023 League Of Ireland season, the centre-forward decided to not renew his contract with the side in order to return to England. The striker then signed a one-and-a-half-year deal at Fleetwood in January.

The 27-year-old only netted two goals for the Cods, which were scored back-to-back against Port Vale and Bristol Rovers. Despite a resurgence late into the season, Charlie Adam’s side were unable to retain their League One status and consequently were relegated to League Two.

Barnsley have a great pool of experienced League One players who have shown they can consistently perform but they are now looking to strike a balance between experience and fresh talent, and it seems like Coughlan could be the perfect fit to provide that equilibrium.

The forward would certainly command a significant fee given his relatively short time at his current side. The sale of Cian Hayes even further strengthens the Cods’ position in this deal, therefore, Fleetwood won’t be under pressure to let their man go for anything less.

If Barnsley intend to acquire him, they may need to be prepared to make a substantial investment to secure their target.

Writers View

It looks like Barnsley’s recruitment team is prioritizing experience. Both of their recent signings, Connor Hourihane and Marc Roberts, are 33 years old. With Devante Cole leaving, Barnsley are in need of a goal scorer and should consider investing in one, therefore, Coughlan isn’t a bad option.

The Tykes concluded last season in the playoffs, ultimately falling short to Bolton in the semi-finals. To sustain their playoff standing in the upcoming season, finding a replacement for their prolific forward will be crucial. Their target’s ability to score in League One still remains unknown, posing a potential risk for the Yorkshire outfit.

The Irishman definitely has a knack for finding the back of the net. The big question now is whether Barnsley can whip him into shape and have him finding the back of the net again.

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