Walsall v Barnsley - Sky Bet League One Play Off: Second Leg
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Barnsley XI if they kept their best players featuring John Stones

Twelve months after reaching the Championship play-offs Barnsley have been relegated to League One after finishing bottom of the table.

After taking over from Gerhard Struber in October 2020, Valerien Ismael guided the Tykes to a fifth-placed finish before being beaten by Swansea City in the play-off semi-finals.

The Frenchman left the West Yorkshire club to take the reins at West Brom, but he was sacked in February and now finds himself in charge of Turkish giants Besiktas.

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7 Biggest Falls From Grace in Football Since 2017

The Oakwell club have had four different managers this season and after three campaigns in the Championship, Barnsley will be hoping for an immediate return back up to the second tier of English football.

With Barnsley consigned to League One, we have put together a best XI of former players who have represented the Tykes…

Jack Butland

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The England international was only at Oakwell for a short loan period in 2013, but he did make 13 Championship appearances for the club.

From those matches, Butland picked up two clean sheets before returning to parent club Stoke City.

Butland, who has nine England caps to his name, is currently into his second season at Crystal Palace where he is the back-up option to Vicente Guaita.

Mason Holgate

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The Barnsley Academy graduate only had one season at Oakwell before Roberto Martinez’s Everton came knocking on the door.

Holgate made 22 appearances for the Tykes before moving to Merseyside. The versatile defender, 25, has made 135 appearances for the Toffees.

John Stones

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The talented Barnsley-born youngster was also snapped up by Everton after making 28 appearances for the Oakwell side.

The Goodison Park side paid Barnsley £3m to sign Stones and he went on to make 95 appearances for the blue half of Merseyside before Pep Guardiola set his sights on the ball-playing centre-back.

Manchester City signed Stones from Everton for £47.5m in August 2016, making him the world’s second most expensive defender.

Due to a sell-on clause, Barnsley received between £7m to £9m from Stones’ move to the Etihad. The 27-year-old has won 10 trophies during his time with the Citizens and has been capped 55 times for the Three Lions.

Ethan Pinnock

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After making the move to Oakwell from Forest Green Rovers, Pinnock played every minute of the 2018/19 League One campaign which saw Barnsley secure automatic promotion to the Championship.

In the summer of 2019, Pinnock made the move to Brentford and he’s been a key part of the Bees side which clinched promotion to the top-flight.

The Jamaican international has had a solid debut campaign in the Premier League under Thomas Frank.

Kieran Trippier

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During his time as a Manchester City player, Trippier had two loan spells at Oakwell where he went on to make 44 appearances.

The La Liga winner scored two goals and provided six assists during his time in West Yorkshire before moving to Burnley in 2012.

The England international moved back to the Premier League in January after a spell with Atletico Madrid and became PIFs first ever signing at Newcastle United.

Josh Brownhill

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The Warrington-born midfielder made 26 appearances for Barnsley during a loan spell from Preston North End in 2016.

Brownhill then reunited with former Barnsley manager Lee Johnson at Bristol City before moving to Burnley in January 2020.

Since Mike Jackson took the reins on a temporary basis for the Clarets, Brownhill has scored one goal and provided two assists from four games as the Turf Moor side battle for Premier League survival.

Conor Hourihane

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The Republic of Ireland international proved to be a quality addition after being signed from Plymouth Argyle in July 2014.

The left-footed midfielder scored 31 goals and set up a further 48 goals during his time at the Oakwell before being signed by Aston Villa in January 2017.

Hourihane’s form was crucial in guiding Barnsley to League One promotion in 2016. He’s currently on loan at Sheffield United from Villa.

Harvey Barnes

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The talented Leicester City winger spent five months on loan at Barnsley before returning to the King Power in January 2018.

From 25 games for the Tykes, the 24-year-old scored five goals and provided five assists.

Barnes is now a key part of Brendan Rodgers’ Foxes side and will be hoping to gain a place in Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad.

Christoph Knasmüllner

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The Austrian arrived in West Yorkshire on the last day of the 2018 January transfer window, but after just five months and three games played, the attacking midfielder was on the move again.

Knasmüllner joined Austrian giants Rapid Vienna and Barnsley fans would be forgiven for thinking what could have been given his form in his homeland.

From 153 matches for Vienna, the 30-year-old has scored 38 goals and provided 36 assists.

Ivan Toney

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The physical striker had two loan spells at Oakwell during the 2015/16 campaign when the Tykes won promotion to the Championship via the play-offs.

Toney may have only scored two goals from 21 games, but his career has done nothing but take an upward trajectory ever since.

The only Englishman to score more Premier League goals than Toney (12) this season is Harry Kane (13).

Adam Armstrong

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The diminutive forward spent the 2015/16 season on loan in West Yorkshire from parent club Newcastle United.

Armstrong scored six goals from Barnsley, but it was at Blackburn Rovers where the 25-year-old’s career hit lift off.

After scoring 28 Championship goals last season, Armstrong secured a big-money move to Southampton in the summer.

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