Barnsley should pip Bristol City to the permanent signing of Joe Williams

Daniel Stendel can put the loss of Brad Potts into the pages of history by signing Joe Williams from Everton before Bristol City complete the deal.

What’s the word?

The Sun on Sunday (06/01; page 63), picked up by HITC, reported that Bristol City are looking to complete a permanent transfer for Everton product Williams, despite the 22-year-old currently playing on loan for Bolton.

It is understood that the Robins will look to offer the Toffees £1million for his services, after being impressed by the midfielder’s performances for their Championship rivals – Williams has featured in 19 second-tier fixtures for the Trotters.

A £1million fee is said to be enough to convince Everton to sell, while being too high to match for Bolton, who would reluctantly lose the skills of a defensive midfielder responsible for 57 successful tackles, 27 interceptions and 39 blocks in the Championship.

Brad Potts’ successor

If the deal is struck between Everton and Bristol City, Williams could look to the move that saw Liam Walsh leave Goodison Park for Ashton Gate 12 months ago, having spent the first half of the season on loan with Birmingham City.

Walsh has since gone on to make six league appearances for City this term, which could put Williams off the move given his regular starting spot at Bolton.

At Barnsley, however, the former England Under 20 international knows what would be expected of him, having spent last season on loan at Oakwell, and would be a shoo-in for a starting spot after Stendel was forced to sell Potts to Preston North End, creating an opening in the first-team.

His potential return would further cement the Tykes’ reputation for boasting the best defence in League One, having conceded a league-low 22 goals in 25 games, and further solidify their promotion ambitions as they sit five points down on second-placed Sunderland.

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