Barnsley: Reds closing in on Bolton forward Wilkinson

Conor Wilkinson
Conor Wilkinson

Barnsley are believed to have agreed a fee with Bolton Wanderers for promising striker Conor Wilkinson.

The 20-year-old will discuss personal terms with the club before undergoing a medical, ahead of a proposed move understood to be worth around £75,000.

Wilkinson is a player well-known to Reds boss Lee Johnson, who took him on loan to former club Oldham twice last season.

The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international scored three times in ten starts for the Latics, having made his debut for parent club Bolton in the Capital One Cup earlier in the season.

Dean Holden – Oldham’s caretaker boss during Wilkinson’s loan spell – said of the forward: “If he knuckles down and works at some aspects of his game then I don’t see why he can’t be a regular at Championship level, even above.”

Croydon-born Wilkinson began his career with Millwall, before moving to Wanderers in 2013, and is currently contracted with Neil Lennon’s side until 2018, having signed a new deal in December.

The powerful 6ft 2in frontman is the perfect fit for Johnson’s new ethos at Oakwell, as he looks to build a young, hungry squad to push for promotion next season.

The Reds have also recently been linked with a move for Brentford’s out-of-contract defender Alfie Mawson, 21, with the emphasis on bringing in players who are on their way up, rather than those in the latter stages of their careers.

The likes of Martin Cranie and Leroy Lita have been released since Johnson took the helm in February, and along with the addition of Marley Watkins and Marc Roberts, the average age of the squad has been lowered to just 22.

“We’re going to be a young group, there’s no doubt about that,” admitted Reds boss Johnson, speaking to The Star.

“They will be talented but they will be young so people should get excited about that, but they should also know that every now and again there are going to be flaws in these guys’ games that we will try and iron out through good coaching.”

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