Date: 31st January 2012 at 5:29pm
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Club captain and fans’ favourite Stephen Dawson has all but departed East London to sign for Championship side Barnsley.

Dawson has been the subject of two rejected bids by the Oakwell club, however, a third bid was accepted by Orient in the last twenty four hours, said to be a six figure fee.

The twenty six year old Irishman is believed to be in South Yorkshire today to finalise the deal. However, Barnsley could well sweat on the completion of the deal seeing as Dawson is currently sidelined with an ankle ligament injury.

Dawson signed for Orient in the summer of 2010 and Russell Slade worked tirelessly to snap up the Dubliner despite interest from Championship sides. Dawson’s deal at Brisbane Road is due to end in June so it seems that Orient have decided to cash in now rather than risk losing the midfield man for free in the summer.

Awarded the captaincy by Slade, Dawson soon became a huge favourite for his drive, energy, effort and captaincy of the side. Daws made 51 appearances during last season’s hugely successful campaign and has made 24 this campaign despite a couple of minor injuries. Dawson has proven to be a real hero at Brisbane Road and we will all be very sad to see him leave.

When out of the team through suspension or injury, Orient simply do not seem to be able to function without Daws’ presence and despite a six figure fee, it will be extremely difficult to replace Captain Fantastic. Soloman Taiwo, signed on loan from Cardiff City, seems to be the obvious replacement for Dawson but many O’s fans are underwhelmed.

Selling Dawson, just a couple after selling Charlie Daniels for a six figure fee, shows the progression Orient have made as a club. It shows that Orient are making a higher standard of signing and that other teams are taking notice of The O’s as the established League One side we are, even if it sadly means losing our best talent.