BARNSLEY boss Keith Hill has stressed the timing of selling players will be a key factor to the club’s chances of success next season - and in the future, writes Neil Goulding.
The Reds are safe from Championship relegation with two games to spare, but Hill believes if they had managed to keep leading scorer Ricardo Vaz Te, then their season might have been a lot more rosy. However, with a tight budget at Oakwell, Hill has defended the club’s decision to sell Portuguese hitman Vaz Te to West Ham on transfer deadline day.
“It was a Catch 22 with Ricardo; we wanted to keep him but it was the right time to sell him,” Hill said. “It was good money for the football club and allowed us do one or two things, but of course we’ve missed his goals and what he brought to the team.
“Losing players like Ricardo and Jacob Butterfield can take away a little bit of belief from the squad - and I think that’s what ultimately happened. Unfortunately we lost three of our most valuable assets at a crucial stage in the season. It really affected our performances.”
Manchester United loan ace Danny Drinkwater was offered a permanent contract with Leicester City, with the Reds’ robbed of his talents.
And with Butterfield sidelined halfway through the campaign with a knee injury, Hill was forced to shuffle his pack and use the loan market to recruit talent. The Star understands that most, if not all, of the loan players will move on at the end of the season, with Hill talking to them over the next fortnight.
Hill said: “The selling of players is crucial to the success of this football club. But we’re looking to build a long-term future for this club and keeping the best players is going to be important.”