Barnsley: The rise and fall of Dale Jennings

Dale Jennings.
Dale Jennings.
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Dale Jennings is no longer a Barnsley player. But is it really a big surprise that the League One club have terminated his contract a year early from his three-year deal?

Jennings was signed for a £250,000 fee back in June 2013, but persistent fitness and weight issues have limited his first-team performances for the Reds.

And it’s fair to say the 22-year-old, who once played for Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, has failed to live up to expectation at Oakwell.

So what has gone wrong for Jennings, a player who, at the age of 18, seemingly had the world at his feet?

Former boss Danny Wilson gave Jennings chances to impress in his managerial reign, but the player scored just three goals in 33 appearances.

He was even loaned out to MK Dons for six games to get some much-needed match time having failed to cement a regular starting place in Wilson’s team.

And last season Jennings played even fewer games, with just 24 matches under his belt in a stop-start season which began with him being sent off in the first game of the new season.

New Reds boss Lee Johnson is appreciative of Jennings’ talents, but he was ultimately happy to let the player leave by mutual consent today.

Both Wilson and Johnson have publicly spoken about Jennings’ fitness issues, with the latter having expressed worry given he is building a new youthful squad at Oakwell in readiness for next season, with promotion to the Championship top of the agenda.

Johnson said last season: “You can’t play for me if you can’t run. I am not saying he can’t run, but at the moment, he’s got to do a little bit more.

“It is not his fault because at the moment he is showing a really good attitude and trying hard.

“There’s no doubt he’s a good player. But it is the fitness levels, really.”

In a short statement Barnsley FC said: “Barnsley Football Club can confirm the contract of Dale Jennings has been terminated by mutual consent.

“The club would like to wish Dale the best of luck with his future endeavors.”

Jennings’ departure comes to just three days after Johnson made his second summer signing.

Scottish Cup winning winger Marley Watkins penned a two-year deal with the Reds on Friday, with defender Marc Roberts having signed a three-year deal with the club earlier this month.

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