Barnsley FC captain Mads Andersen is 'the best defender in the league' - but is he is happy?

BARNSLEY chief executive officer Khaled El-Ahmad says that captain Mads Andersen remains happy at Oakwell - and has labelled him as the 'best defender in the league.'

The Dane has been in outstanding form all season and saw an option triggered in his contract last month along with Brad Collins and Jordan Williams.

All three saw their deals run out this summer, but with the club having an option to extend for an additional 12 months. That was activated and they are now contracted at Oakwell until June 2024.

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While the trio remain under contract for a decent length of time, their longer-term situation is likely to come into focus later this year.

Barnsley captain Mads Andersen. Picture: Getty.Barnsley captain Mads Andersen. Picture: Getty.
Barnsley captain Mads Andersen. Picture: Getty.

Stressing that Andersen is happy, El-Ahmad said: "Mads is the perfect example of a top professional, team-mate and captain and in my opinion he is the best defender in the league.

"He smiles every day, except if we lose!

"People look at a contract as (if) you will only speak to them when they have a year left or six months. But it is an ongoing discussion both ways.

"It is how you feel, are you liking this? How is your family? What does the coach think? What do we as a coach think and the value of the player.

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"There are various aspects to this and it is an ongoing discussion with most players.“It could also be that maybe one of the players wants a new challenge. It's aspects of it of (in terms of) how much you want to control and how much the player (wants) to be here, they are also human beings and they have their own thought process."

Barnsley visit Michael Duff’s old club Cheltenham Town on Saturday.

Midfielder Luke Thomas is back in the squad for the Whaddon Road test.

Thomas has been sidelined since breaking his leg in a freak incident in training in early October, but has proved his fitness in training and several under-21 games and has been rewarded ahead of the game in the West Country - he hails from Gloucestershire.

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Midfielder Josh Benson, sidelined since mid-January with a hamstring issue, is closing in on a return, while defender Robbie Cundy, out of action since suffering a little tear in his knee in the FA Cup loss at Derby on January 8, is also making positive strides in his return to the fray.

Matty Wolfe and Conor McCarthy are longer-term issues, while Brad Collins is out with a muscle injury.