Barnsley: We really want to keep Lewin Nyatanga says Reds boss

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Reds boss Lee Johnson would be delighted if defender Lewin Nyatanga signed a new deal at the club.

Centre-back Nyatanga was one of only two players to be offered a new contract after Johnson’s summer clearout at Oakwell.

The former Bristol City played 51 times for the Reds last season in arguably his best campaign for the club.

And with club captain Martin Cranie having left Oakwell after his contract expired, Johnson was keen to tie down Nyatanga to another deal.

Centre-back Jean Yves-M’voto has been released and Crystal Palace loan defender Peter Ramage has admitted he’s played his last game for the Reds.

That means there is likely to be a lot of re-shaping at the back, with youngsters Mason Holgate, George Smith and James Bree likely to be given the chance to impress next season in League One.

“Lewin is a very good player and we want to keep him,” Johnson told The Star.

“I think it shows how good a season he had by winning the Players’ Player of the Season award.

“That’s arguably the best award you can get each season because it’s from your fellow professionals.

“He’s respected by the other players and the fans like him too, which is great.

“I don’t think he’s been amazing this season, but he’s been good and he’s a really good professional.

“He’s a player you can trust and he’s nicked in with a couple of goals this season, which is always important.

“I think he deserved the captain’s armband on the last game of the season, his performances have been very good.”

Nyatanga only played 12 games during the 2013-14 season because of injury, but worked hard on his fitness and game so he could impress the following season.

And impress the 26-year-old did with five goals and some commanding performances alongside Cranie in the heart of the Reds’ defence.

“Lewin is a respected player and he’s a very disciplined professional,” added Johnson.

“I demand a healthy lifestyle from my players and Lewin does everything right. He eats well, is into his yoga and trains the right way.”

“He’s not the most vocal of players on the pitch, but behind the scenes he’s great with a lot of the younger players and is good in the dressing room.

“I played with him at Bristol City, so I know what he’s all about. “

Johnson joked: “It’s hard to get a contract off me, but in all seriousness Lewin deserves one. Hopefully he signs for us.”

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