By Steven Downes 

Huddersfield Town have sold academy product and rising star Jordan Williams to Barnsley for an undisclosed fee. This isn’t the news any Town fans were expecting, with just over 24 hours until the transfer window slammed shut.

The 18-year-old is an England youth international at both under-17 and under-18 level and has been at the Terriers since the age of nine. He has risen through the ranks, putting pen to paper on his first professional contract at the age of 17. Since then the right back has made his full debut for Town that came in the League Cup game last season against Rotherham United, which Town won 2-1.

Williams was sent out to Bury on loan for the first half of the season, in the last campaign. Although he didn’t pull up any trees in his eight starts and five substitute appearances, there were glimpses of what could turn out to be a very good player, especially in a struggling team that saw former Town boss Lee Clark given the boot and his replacement, former Town centre-half Chris Lucketti, last only 10 matches. 

Through this summer the teenager has moved between under 23 work and first team duties. Seen as a fringe player head coach David Wagner played Williams in pre-season. The young player set up Steve Mounie with a magnificent cross against SV Darmstadt earlier in pre-season. It has therefore come as a surprise that Town have decided to sell Williams.

You may have thought Town would have taken more time to assess whether Williams could have made the step up? It was likely Williams could’ve been the next home-grown star to rise through the ranks. However with his transfer to Barnsley it leaves some Town fans thinking has the club missed a trick.

The club in the past has largely come out on the right side of the line when it comes to these types of decisions. Chris Atkinson, Jordan Sinnott and Will Boyle, haven’t exactly gone on to set the world alight. Even with this in mind, you get a feeling that another loan would’ve suited the club and the players development much better.

The truth is this transfer raises more questions than it answers them.  Why can’t Huddersfield Town bring through youth players, especially England youth internationals? Whatever happened to pathways? And how exactly is the reformed academy system going to work?  It’s nearly a decade since Town’s last academy graduate made their mark on the senior side and that player was Jack Hunt.

Of course another England youth international and Toulon tournament winner Ryan Schofield is still at the club as third choice keeper and England under-17 international Matty Daly made an impact playing and scoring in the friendly at Bury. So there is still hope of seeing one of our own pulling on the Town shirt in the near future.

What we do know is that Barnsley have got themselves a talented player, as Barnsley Head Coach Daniel Stendel told their official website: “Jordan will bring something a bit different to the squad and I am happy to have him in my side.

“He’s very fast and clever, this is the type of player that can play how we want to play and by signing a long contract he has committed to our project here. We know he will come in and work hard and learn our style.”

The question to whether Town should have sold Williams will only be answered in the fullness of time. However, for now, Town fans will keep an eye on Williams progress.

Do you think Town should've held onto Jordan Williams? Or is his move best for all parties?

Comment