'He is a player more for development' - Barnsley boss makes eyebrow-raising statement over interest in Doncaster Rovers captain Ben Whiteman

Doncaster Rovers skipper Ben Whiteman would be a player to develop for the future if Barnsley were to sign him.

By Liam Hoden
Friday, 18th September 2020, 12:23 pm
Updated Friday, 18th September 2020, 2:10 pm

That is the verdict of Barnsley boss Gerhard Struber who says the Reds will continue to monitor the midfielder.

Rovers have rejected close to half a dozen formal bids for Whiteman from Barnsley, none of which have come close to the value which has been set for the 24-year-old.

Speaking to the media on Friday morning, Struber revealed he does not see Whiteman as potentially an immediate solution within his midfield ranks in the Championship, but rather one for the future, hinting that he does not believe he has the ‘basics’ currently.

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Ben Whiteman

He said: "Ben Whiteman is an option and an interesting player, but we search for a player who can help us from the first second.

“He is a player more for development and the future.

“It is more important to find players who are more ready for the first game.

"I have always the patience to build the players up in my style but when we must speak about basics in football, then it’s maybe not so helpful at the moment for the squad.

"We need the players that have the right quality to handle the basics. When they handle the basics, then we can speak about my style and the big next steps.”

The Free Press understands Rovers believe Barnsley have been dissuaded from following up their previous interest in Whiteman following their most recent bid.

The bid submitted remained significantly lower than the amount Rovers want before they would consider selling their influential captain.

There is no set figure laid down within Whiteman’s contract by which Rovers would be forced to sell him. Rovers, however, must inform the midfielder of any bids beyond a certain figure but have pledged to make him aware of any interest at all.

Struber’s comments are hardly likely to been seen in a positive light by the 24-year-old, who views himself as more than capable of making the step up to the Championship after establishing himself as one of the top players in League One in recent seasons.

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