The Reds today welcomed our latest summer arrival in Belgian forward Obbi Oularé and we've taken a look at the big man's career to date!
Putting pen to paper on a three-year deal at Oakwell, Mamadou Obbi Oularé this afternoon became the newest addition to Markus Schopp's squad ahead of the 21/22 season.
The 25-year-old (08/01/1996) striker has spent the bulk of his career so far in his homeland of Belgium, but this move to South Yorkshire will mean a second spell in England having previously been on the books of Watford.
Obbi's professional journey began in 2014 with one of his nation's most celebrated institutions - Club Brugge. As a teenager he quickly made an impact for Blau-Zwart (Blue-Black), scoring on his first start for the club.
His impressive showings in Belgium were beginning to attract overseas interest, whilst in 2015 he helped Brugge to win the Belgian Cup final, seeing off Anderlecht 2-1 in a crazy end to the game where their opponents had equalised in the 89th minute, only for Brugge to hit back to claim the trophy deep into injury time.
Oularé also scored a late winner against Anderlecht in their league meeting on home soil having come off the bench with 20 minutes remaining. It wasn't only domestically where the young striker was finding joy, as he also grabbed a couple of goals in that year's edition of the EUROPA League.
THE BIG MOVE
After signing off with a goal for Brugge in their 7-1 demolition of Standard Liège, the then-19-year-old made the move to Vicarage Road and the Premier League with the Hornets.
He would make just three appearances for Watford in his first season at the club, totalling only 50 minutes playing-time before heading out on-loan for the next three years.
His first temporary home was very familiar to Obbi as he joined hometown club Zulte Waregem. He would spend the first half of the 2016/17 campaign there before heading out at the start of 2017 to the Netherlands and Willem II in a similar short-term arrangement.
An injury-affected loan-spell back in Belgium followed in 2017/18 with Antwerp and later Standard Liège, but the forward did enough to convince Standard to sign him from Watford permanently ahead of the 2019/20 season.
Obbi has spent the last two years with the Belgian giants, but his appearances - mainly from the bench - have been limited across both seasons.
Indeed, the Reds have shown previous ambition to bring the 6'5" striker back to England and after the 2020/21 campaign drew to a close, his signing was given priority status and the Club are delighted to finally have their man ahead of the new season.
A product of the famed academy system of French outfit Lille, where his colleagues Divock Origi and Eden Hazard also graduated, Oularé has represented his country at U18, U19 and U21 level.
One of the world's strongest nations over the last decade, Belgium has a proud recent history of producing some of football's most notable names and Obbi was being selected for the U21s as recently as 2019.
Our latest signing has a very random connection to Barnsley FC!
His father, Souleymane was a very successful player in his own right, particularly in Belgium but in 2001 he joined Stoke City where he was recruited by Gudjon Thordarson who would a couple of years later be appointed as Reds manager.
Oularé Sr is famous for scoring the winning semi-final goal that took the Potters to their ultimately successful third tier play-off final in 2002.
And now, Obbi Oularé is a Red!