Aidan Barlow eager to repay faith shown in him by Doncaster Rovers boss Richie Wellens

Having come close last season, Richie Wellens has finally been able to sign goal-obsessed Aidan Barlow, and Doncaster Rovers’ new striker is anxious to make up for lost time.

Doncaster's Aidan Barlow in action against Sheffield United in a pre-season friendly on Tuesday (Picture: Howard Roe/AHPix.com)

The 21-year-old had a year out of football after being released by Manchester United. It would have ended sooner, but manager Wellens left Salford City before he could sign there.

Salford were one of three clubs Barlow had trials with last season, along with Stoke City and Ipswich Town, but it took a pre-season at Doncaster to get him back into professional football, scoring five goals in three friendlies.

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“It’s been a tough year for me out of the game,” said Barlow, whose only senior football was on loan at Tromso in 2019. “I’ve just had to keep my mind on it and keep working hard.

“When the gaffer (Wellens) was at Salford I was there for quite a while, actually, and he wanted me to sign but unfortunately he left so I was delighted when he showed an interest here.”

If Darren Moore built a Rovers squad around Premier League loanees, Wellens’s has its own distinct profile mirroring his.

Like Barlow and fellow summer signings Tommy Rowe and Ro-Shaun Williams, Wellens came through the Red Devils academy but had to leave and drop into the Football League to play senior football. It was similar for West Ham United product Kyle Knoyle and Jordy Hiwula, who failed to make the grade at Manchester City.

Former England youth international Barlow’s pedigree should guarantee technical ability, but he is also focused on goals.

“I like to get on the ball, play one-twos and link up with players and obviously I love to score goals!” said Barlow, who has been used either side of a front three.

“I’m obsessed with scoring goals and winning’s even better.”

Meanwhile, Conor Chaplin says the “uncertainty” around Barnsley’s change of coach was a factor in him joining Ipswich Town for an undisclosed fee.

The 24-year-old found last season tough under Valerien Ismael but the arrival of Markus Schopp brought no guarantees either.

The Reds are closing in on Burnley midfielder Josh Benson but to date their summer signings have been forwards Obbi Oulare and Devante Cole, with the potential for another.

“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 joining League One Ipswich.

“I’m so thankful for the opportunity to play in the Championship (at Barnsley). It nearly happened the summer before (2018) but I went to Coventry instead so for them to take me after it 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 so I had no qualms. Everyone put individual things to the side for the team.”

Manager Mick McCarthy says he might have no choice but to sell Ciaron Brown if the left-back wants to leave Cardiff City, but Middlesbrough must significantly increase their offer to sign him.

“I’ve offered him a new contract and I’d like him to stay,” he revealed. “I’ve spoken to Neil (Wanock), he’s made an offer. Nowhere near enough. Browny is in his last year. So if Neil wants to offer something that’s anywhere near our valuation then we may have to sell him.”

Huddersfield Town coach Carlos Corberan expects Luxembourg international Daniel Sinani to bring goals during his season-long loan from Norwich City.

“He is a player with the versatility to play down the middle as a No 10, or on the right side, and he gives us real possibilities,” he said.