Conor Chaplin on how Barnsley 'uncertainty' caused him to leave and Valerien Ismael's difficult but successful style
Conor Chaplin said the "uncertainty" around a change of coach at Barnsley was a factor in him leaving for Ipswich Town.
The 24-year-old has admitted he found last season tough under Valerien Ismael last season but the arrival of Markus Schopp in his place brought no guarantees either.
Although they are also looking for an experienced midfielder to fill the hole left by captain Alex Mowatt's departure to West Bromwich Albion, it is the forward ranks where Barnsley' s business has been done so far in the transfer window.
As well as signing Obbi Oulare from Standard Liege, they have also added Devante Cole on a free transfer. It is thought they might yet look for a third forward.
All of which threatened fewer opportunities for Chaplin, who was increasingly marginalised by Ismael as last season went on. But he stressed he had no issues with Ismael's direct and demanding style because it took the Reds to fifth in the Championship having been in grave danger of relegation at the start of the season.
"The manager at Barnsley left so it was uncertain but it wasn't something where I was looking or not looking, it was just what I thought would be best for me for the season," he said after moving to the League One club, who have been busy in this summer's transfer market. "I'm delighted to be here now."
Ismael invariably used Chaplin as one of the inside-forwards in his narrow three-man attacks, but the January signings of Carlton Morris and Daryl Dike, who has since returned to orlando at the end of his loan, restricted his gametime.
Although Chaplin admitted it was difficult at times, he only had good words to say about the Reds, who signed him from Coventry City in 2019.
"I'm so thankful for the opportunity to play in the Championship," he said. "It nearly happened the summer before but I went to Coventry instead but for them to take me after it nearly didn't happen the first time was something I was really thankful for. I really enjoyed it there.
"Personally it wasn't a great season for me, it was a tough style of football we played but it was successful I had no qualms aboutt hat. Everyone put individual things to the side for the aims of the team."
Chaplin scored 17 goals in 86 matches in all competitions for Barnsley. He knows Ipswich manager Paul Cook having played for him at first club Portsmouth.
Cook described him as "probably the best finisher I have ever worked with".
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