Swans linked with Barnsley striker again, but are they contenders?
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Swans linked with Barnsley striker again, but are they contenders?

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The dust has barely settled on the majority of the Championship season, but the transfer whispers have begun in earnest, with Barnsley’s play-off defeat fuelling reports that striker Devante Cole is now more likely to move this summer.

The Swans are not the only Championship club reportedly interested in the striker, who is the son of former Newcastle and Manchester United striker Andrew. Middlesbrough, Hull, Stoke, Bristol City, and Cardiff have all been connected with the midfielder after Barnsley were eliminated from the play-offs at the semi-final stage away to Bolton on Tuesday night.

The Swans had previously been linked with Cole, who was known to former boss Michael Duff after scoring 16 goals in 53 games as Duff guided Barnsley to the brink of promotion to the Championship before joining the Swans last summer. Eighteen more goals have followed this season, and with Barnsley now set for a third consecutive campaign in League One, it appears doubtful that he will continue at Oakwell for another season, especially when you consider the Championship interest.

Cole’s contract expires this summer, and while there was speculation in January that Barnsley would cash in, they chose to keep him – and a number of his teammates – in order to improve on the season and earn promotion. Now that the fantasy is over, they must prepare for Cole to be one of several exits this summer.

The fact that Cole is out of contract will make clubs sit up and take notice, but it will also not go unnoticed that at the age of twenty-nine, he has only scored one goal at Championship level in his career and has not been the most prolific of strikers at the clubs he has played for – eight other clubs have had his services over the years.

It’s tough to tell whether the current links with Cole are genuine or merely a leftover from Duff’s stint as manager. Luke Williams has been linked with Macaulay Langstaff since he worked with the striker at Notts County for the same reason. There is no doubt that managers search for players they have previously worked with, but it is difficult to see how Cole fits into the model that Williams mentions wants to build at Swansea.

However, it appears that this is more of a result of a previous link and two and two being combined following the Barnsley defeat.

Time will, of course, tell!

 

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