INTERIM manager Paul Heckingbottom has revealed that Barnsley beat off interest from “four or five” rival clubs to sign talented winger Harry Chapman on loan from Middlesbrough.
The teenager has yet to make his first start for the club after joining on loan for the rest of the season, but has already provided evidence of his talent in two appearances from the bench, against Crewe and Coventry.
Heckingbottom moved quickly for Chapman after Boro’s Under-19s were knocked out of the UEFA Youth League at Paris St Germain last week – the catalyst for the Teesside club to decide to let the 19-year-old out on loan.
Heckingbottom said: “Four or five clubs had asked for him and I found a couple of them out, because when we got him, they let me know. So that was nice.
“It is important that Harry knows his value here and that we are here to help him as much as we expect him to help us. Hopefully, we can be really good for him in his development. But, likewise, hopefully Harry can be really good for us and he can provide that little bit extra.”
Heckingbottom tapped into his connections at Boro to land the Hartlepool-born talent and the Reds’ caretaker head coach is hopeful that it could yield further loan opportunities if things go well for the winger at Oakwell.
He said: “I know a lot up there from my time in the north east, including Steve Agnew, Dave Parnaby, Adam Reed and Craig Liddle, Graeme Lee and Mark Tinkler (at Middlesbrough).
“They know about Barnsley and how we try to play and that we have a young group.
“If we are bringing in young players from the likes of Boro, (Manchester) United and teams like that, they know we are going to try and play football and pass the ball.
“That’s our selling point and if we can do good jobs for their lads, like we have for United in the past and they have made money off the back of us, that’s great and we are more likely to get other players.
“Likewise with Boro; if we do well with Harry as well, it’s another club and good connection and, hopefully, we can benefit off it in the future.”
To underline his point, Barnsley yesterday signed teenage defender Callum Connolly on a month’s loan from Premier League Everton.