Barnsley head coach Valerien Ismael on Victor Adeboyejo's new deal

Valerien Ismael.Valerien Ismael.
Valerien Ismael.
BARNSLEY head coach Valerien Ismael is confident that there is more improvement to come from striker Victor Adeboyejo - after the club took the decision to trigger a 12-month extension clause in his contract.

The powerful forward has been brought in from the cold under Ismael, with his Reds career looking at a crossroads at the start of the season after spells on loan last term at Bristol Rovers and Cambridge United.

Down the pecking order under Gerhard Struber, Adeboyejo - whose Oakwell deal was due to expire this summer - has played his way into the plans of Ismael and has featured regularly under the Frenchman.

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The 23-year-old has made 24 appearances so far in the Ismael era, after being restricted to ninety minutes of action prior to that this term when Struber was in charge.

On Adeboyejo, whose contract now runs until June 2022, Ismael said: “I think Victor has deserved it with the improvement he has made on his performance.

“I think it is a breakthrough to continue in this way. I believe in his skills and quality. He is a Championship player and (now) needs consistency in his performance and to score.

“But he is a young guy and you can feel and see the potential he has and that is why it is a logistical step for us to move forward with him.

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“He has the skill and physicality what you need in the Championship. He is fast and strong and has good capability to press and an excellent character for the team. He is a team player and his skills are very important for us and he is not finished in his development.

“We have time to work with him and it is important for him to feel he is part of our squad. He is a really good guy.

“We have a lot of games left in the season and he has a lot of possibilities to score and show his quality.”

Adeboyejo admits he was unsure if he had a long-term Barnsley future at the start of the season and is thankful to the impact of Ismael in giving him another chance at Oakwell.

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He commented: “At the start of the season, it was not something which looked clear in terms of what was happening, but I can only be grateful to the manager and the coaching staff, family, agent and the squad.

“The gaffer coming in has given me an opportunity to come in and play and so what I can do. I feel comfortable around the team. The gaffer has come in and given me that platform.

On potentially moving elsewhere, the forward continued: “Of course, it was in the back of my mind. Bit I always thought I was a Barnsley player and have worked hard when I have put on the shirt. It is just about getting that opportunity.

“At the start of the season, it looked quite slim, but the manager has come in and putting in the work I have, I have been able to show what I can do.”