Barnsley's Obbi Oulare signing was seven months in the making, co-chairman Paul Conway reveals

PROTRACTED SIGNING: Obbi Oulare's move to Barnsley was seven months in the makingPROTRACTED SIGNING: Obbi Oulare's move to Barnsley was seven months in the making
PROTRACTED SIGNING: Obbi Oulare's move to Barnsley was seven months in the making
Barnsley co-chairman Paul Conway has revealed their second signing of the summer was seven "tough" months in the making.

The arrival of the former Belgian youth international striker Obbi Oulare has long been mooted, and Conway revealed it has taken all year to get him to Oakwell.

"Obbi is a player we have followed closely and we are now delighted to welcome him to Oakwell on a permanent contract after seven months of tough negotiations with Standard Liege," said Conway. "Having played at the highest level in Europe, he arrives with significant experience and will immediately contribute to what is already a very talented squad."

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The 25-year-old hopes he will prove to be worth the wait. Knowing a move to South Yorkshire was in the offing, the former Watford player paid close attention to Barnsley last season and has set his sights on matching or bettering their 2020-21.

The Reds finished fifth in the Championship last season, their best finish since 1999-2000.

Coach Valerien Ismael, some of his support staff and captain Alex Mowatt have all left for Championship rivals West Bromwich Albion but new coach Markus Schopp is not lowering his sights, and neither is Oulare after the Reds completed a signing which had been rumbling on for weeks.

“It’s great to be here and I can’t wait to get started," said Oulare. "I will do my best, work hard and hopefully, with the rest of the team, that will bring great results.

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“I have been following the results really closely over the last season and I’m hoping to achieve the same, or even better this year," he said. "I look forward to meeting the fans. I know about the great atmosphere in the UK and I can’t wait to see them all at Oakwell.”

Oulare joined Watford as a teenager, making one start, in the FA Cup and two Premier League substitute appearances totalling five minutes.

He had four loan spells before moving permanently to Liege, and has built a reputation based partly on his experience in the Europa League.

Oulare is only the Reds' second signing of the summer, following fellow striker Devante Cole, Schopp is looking for an experienced replacement for midfielder Mowatt and potentially defender Michael Sollbauer too.

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