The Insider: Barnsley likely want Portsmouth target Lloyd Isgrove off the wage bill – and he needs to rebuild his confidence

Doug O’Kane, from the Barnsley Chronicle, gives the lowdown on Pompey target Lloyd Isgrove...

Wednesday, 30th January 2019, 3:08 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 7:53 pm
Lloyd Isgrove. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Lloyd Isgrove first arrived at Barnsley on loan from Southampton in the 2015-16 season and was part of the side that won promotion from League One.

He scored in the play-off final against Millwall, his first goal for the club. In the last 10 games of the season, he played really well and was a big part of that team.

Isgrove came back a year later  on big wages as he was signed in the Championship.

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Lloyd Isgrove. Picture: Stu Forster/Getty Images

However, it’s never really happened for him since.

Isgrove has struggled a bit with injury but has been fit for the past couple of months.

The current manager, Daniel Stendel, just doesn’t rate him and has only played him twice off the bench in League One. 

He came on against Pompey in December – his first league appearance since August.

I would imagine Barnsley want to get Isgrove off the wage bill, whether it’s a loan or permanent deal.

He's not playing at all or not part of Stendel’s plans. It would take a big injury crisis to get him into the frame. 

Even if it is a loan and Pompey took on a portion of the wages then it would be a decent earner for Barnsley. 

The Tykes have trimmed their fringe players, selling George Moncur to Luton this month, and Isgrove would fit that bracket.

It is a tricky one why he hasn’t been playing this season based on the fact he’s clinched promotion from League One before.

He should be more than good enough but fitness has been a factor.

Isgrove hasn’t had them recently but they have taken their toll. 

Barnsley are all about high-pressing, counter-attacking football and having a lot of pace and energy in their team.

It’s hard for me to judge because I have barely seen him play recently but hasn’t looked the same player. 

Isgrove did have a little spell when he came into the team in the Championship last season, scoring against Burton.

But Paul Heckingbottom wasn’t playing him regularly and the man who replaced him, Jose Morais, didn’t either.

That’s three head coaches in a row Isgrove has struggled to play regular football under.

He just needs games to build up his confidence again. With Barnsley in the middle of a promotion battle, however, they're not willing to afford him that sort of time. 

When Isgrove was fit and playing regularly, he did have pace, a decent cross on him, went at players and was really hard working.

The question mark has always been his end product. When Barnsley were pushing for promotions in 2016, Isgrove was showing that and looked like he could go on and do it in the Championship.