This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Kevin Campbell has suggested it could be “smart” for Leeds United to sign Barnsley’s Callum Styles this summer.
He said: “It is his potential which is drawing Leeds in. If they can get him in, let him develop while learning Bielsa’s system it could be a smart piece of business.”
So would Styles be a smart signing? Do Leeds need him? And is he ready for the Premier League?
Our FLW writers share their thoughts…
What you’ve got with Styles is a player that’s got bags of potential and Leeds like that kind of thing.
He’s playing in a system at Barnsley that’s not too dissimilar to what Leeds do and, of course, he’s playing out on the left as a wing-back, which is a position Bielsa needs another player.
I really like Styles and everything he brings to Barnsley, but the concern I’ve got is that he doesn’t exactly fit the calibre of player Leeds went after last summer.
That’s not to say he isn’t good enough for Leeds or the Premier League, in fact I think the complete opposite.
I just don’t see how Leeds will go from foreign signings from Rennes or Valencia to raiding Barnsley for Styles.
There might well be interest there, I just question whether it will ever develop beyond that.
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In the short term, I’m not too sure about this one for Leeds.
Styles has really impressed me whilst with Barnsley, and he could be a player that plays regularly in the Premier League in the future.
But I’m not convinced a move to Elland Road with Leeds United would be the best move for his development at this stage of his career.
He’d be wanting to play regularly, and I don’t think Leeds could offer him that at this moment in time, which is understandable as they already have some strong options available to them.
If you’re looking at it from a long-term view though, he’s a player that could thrive under Bielsa’s management.
Depending on what position they’re going to bring Styles in for depends on if this is a good signing for Leeds or not.
Marcelo Bielsa plays with a 4-2-3-1 usually and Styles has flourished in a 3-4-3 system for Barnsley at the left-wing-back spot, so there’s already a clear difference that he would have to adapt to if Leeds signed him.
Naturally a central midfielder, Styles could slot into the engine room but he might take a while to settle in despite his obvious talent – however it’s a position that Leeds don’t have much quality depth in so he’d no doubt get plenty of game-time.
It would be intriguing though to see if the club would see Styles as a left-back in a back four – Bielsa adopts a very attacking system which sees his full-backs bomb up the pitch as much as possible, so the fact he could cover two positions would make Styles a good purchase for Leeds and several other top flight clubs.