BARNSLEY’s Reuben Noble-Lazarus has agreed a new two-year deal with the club.
Former Reds Academy scholar Noble-Lazarus is expected to sign his new contract at Oakwell today with the club having identified him as a talent for the future.
The 19-year-old has started twice this season for the Championship side and featured eight times as a substitute.
But injury has prevented him from playing a bigger part this term and the teenager has not played since coming on as a late replacement in the club’s home win over derby rivals Leeds United on 12 January.
Noble-Lazarus is currently sidelined with a groin strain, but he showed glimpses of his ability this season when he netted in a 2-2 away draw with Leicester City in early December.
“We’re delighted Reuben has agreed to sign a new deal,” revealed Reds director Don Rowing, speaking exclusively to The Star.
“We feel that it’s really important to guarantee the future of our young players, they are integral to the future of the club.
“Reuben’s the only player to be getting a deal at this time, we’re not looking at contracts for any of our senior players until later on the season.
“A lot will depend on where we are in the league, so we think that’s the best way of doing things.”
At 15 years and 45 days old, Noble-Lazarus became the youngest ever player to feature in a Football League match.
That was back in September 2008 with the forward understandably tipped for a bright future.
And there was interest from Manchester United who took the player on a fortnight trial with a view to signing the player.
However, injuries have prevented Noble-Lazarus’ progress over the last few years and he’s also struggled to command a regular starting role under previous managers Keith Hill and Mark Robins.
“Reuben’s had his problems with injury - and unfortunately at the wrong time,” added Rowing.
“He’s got into the team and then got injured, which is unfortunate.
“But David [Flitcroft] has identified him a player for the future and this contract will provide him with the security to develop further.
“Hopefully he can follow in the footsteps of players like John Stones and Jacob Butterfield who have earnt themselves deals with Premier League clubs.”
And Rowing also revealed that boss Flitcroft has not called for any more reinforcements now the emergency loan window has re-opened.
“David doesn’t want to bring anyone in at this stage, but that might change because things can change with injuries,” admitted Rowing.