Academy graduate goalkeeper Bradley Collins is joining Championship club Barnsley on a four-year contract upon the expiry of his current deal at Chelsea.
Collins had a steady progression up the EFL pyramid since joining Forest Green Rovers on loan in League Two, two seasons ago. After impressing there, he joined Nigel Clough’s Burton Albion and was undisputed first-choice goalkeeper for the Brewers when fit. Collins was part of a massive cup run for Burton, going all the way up to the semi-finals, only to then be annihilated by Manchester City.
The 22-year-old was in goal for both of the legs and made some fine saves to keep the score from going into double digits. Nigel Clough expressed his desire on more than one occasion to keep Collins on a permanent basis going into the 2019-20 season. They apparently even had an agreement in place with Collins’ agent but the Chelsea player’s camp pulled the plug at the eleventh hour.
In their defence, this offer from Barnsley is very lucrative. Under Daniel Stendel, the club have bounced back to the Championship at the first time of asking, in an exciting new direction with an environment highly conducive for the development of young players. Moreover, Barnsley’s first-choice goalkeeper, Adam Davies, is set to seal a move to Stoke City to replace Jack Butland, meaning Collins is in with a real shout of holding down a regular starting spot.
Good luck, Brad!