Gary Gardner signs to Barnsley FC
The experienced midfielder arrives on a season-long loan deal from Sky Bet Championship rivals Aston Villa.
Barnsley Football Club are delighted to announce that we have today captured the services of Gary Gardner from Aston Villa on a season-long loan. The 25-year-old midfielder has made over 100 appearances at Championship level and will now add vital experience to Paul Heckingbottom’s young and hungry squad.
A hard working, combative and talented midfield operator, Gardner made his Villa debut as a 19-year-old in a 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea in December of 2011. After breaking into the first team setup at Villa Park, Gary, brother of Birmingham City midfielder Craig, then had two successful spells with Brighton & Hove Albion and Nottingham Forest on loan in the Championship for the duration of the 2014/15 season, scoring six times across the campaign and becoming a fans favourite with Forest.
After going back to Villa in the summer of 2015 and featuring on the bench in the Premier League, Gardner would then spend the second half of the 2015/16 campaign back at the City Ground with Forest who secured his services ahead of a host of Championship rivals at the time, where he would go on to make another 22 appearances, scoring twice.
After Aston Villa’s relegation, Gary was welcomed back into the fold as the midlands club prepared for life outside the top division for the first time in over 30 years.
Gardner scored his first goal for the Villans in last season’s second city derby, putting them 1-0 up against Birmingham at St Andews in a 1-1 draw. He would make 27 appearances for Villa overall during the season.
The 6ft 2’ midfield powerhouse has also represented England right through the age groups up to U21 level where he scored twice for his country in five appearances.
Upon Gardner’s arrival on deadline day, Reds Gaffer, Paul Heckingbottom spoke of his delight at the addition of a proven Championship performer, telling us, “We’re really pleased with the signing of Gary, he’s an important addition to give us greater flexibility within the squad and we look forward to working with him. He is going to help us this season and we’re definitely looking forward to that as well.
“I would like to thank Aston Villa for allowing Gary to come here.”