Barnsley: New boy Cole Kpekawa wants to follow in footsteps of John Stones, Mason Holgate and Alfie Mawson
New boy Cole Kpekawa wants to follow in the footsteps of other defenders whose careers have sky-rocketed at Barnsley.
The promising 20-year-old finalised his move from Queens Park Rangers for a fee understood to be £450,000 on deadline day.
The defender was recalled from his loan at Leyton Orient to play the final four games of last season for Rangers, but a solitary appearance off the bench in the League Cup this term convinced him he needed a fresh start.
John Stones, Mason Holgate and Alfie Mawson have all moved on to the bright lights of the Premier League from Oakwell in recent times and Kpekawa hopes the move up north can make him a better player.
“I wanted to get out of QRP because I wasn’t playing much first-team football and I wanted a new start somewhere else,” admitted the left back, who penned a three-year deal with the club.
“A lot of good defenders have come from the club and I think it’ll definitely help my career here.
“I’m not saying I’m going to walk straight into the first team but playing regular Championship football will do me good.
“Another reason I came here was because of the age of the side, everyone’s quite young and hungry.
“I’ve met the boys now and they all seem like really nice lads so I think I’ll fit in well here.”
Paul Heckingbottom has built a young and exciting team and all his new signings have singled the head coach out as one of the main reasons they chose Oakwell.
England U20 international Kpekawa is no different and believes his game will fit in with the way Heckingbottom wants his team to play.
“I’ve spoken to the manager and I like him a lot,” Kpekawa said.
“The way he talks and his plans, it really suits me.
“He’s told me to come in, work hard and fight for my place.
“He likes his full-backs to get forward and I enjoy that.
“I like getting forward and putting crosses into the box.
“I’m not the type of defender who likes hoofing the ball up the field, I like playing from the back.”