Mallik Wilks says the feeling of being wanted was crucial in his decision to join the club.
The 20-year-old became Barnsley’s ninth signing of a productive transfer window and insists that the Reds’ tireless pursuit this summer helped him decide where his future lay.
“Barnsley made me feel wanted, they were ringing me all the time, every day, and it’s the best place for me – it’s close to home as well,” said Wilks.
“When I first walked in, he [Daniel Stendel] was like: ‘It’s my friend, the power’ and laughing – he’s a good guy, funny. It’s the first time I’d met him and it just shows when you’re wanted.”
It shouldn’t take too long for the young forward to settle in at his new home, with plenty of familiar faces around at Oakwell from his time at Leeds United.
Wilks follows defender Aapo Halme to South Yorkshire after the Finnish defender joined on Wednesday, while he also has a history with Reds’ midfielder Alex Mowatt, as he explains.
“I know Alex – I used to clean his boots at Leeds,” laughed the former Doncaster Rovers loanee. “It’s crazy to think that I used to do that; he’s 24 now but back then he was one of the younger ones in the first team.
“I remember one of the other lads had his boots and they left the club, so I got told to clean them. To be fair, he sorted me out with a Christmas tip but, when he sees me now he’ll be like: ‘Mallik, clean my boots,’ he’ll never let it go.
“I also know Dimitri through a French friend because we used to play five-a-side, and I know Jordan Williams because we used to play against one another in our youth team days – I used to tear him apart.”