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
Barnsley will be hoping to have a fairytale end to the season under Valerien Ismael as they continue to push for promotion to the Premier League.
The Tykes have won a remarkable seven games on the bounce in the Championship, seeing them climb to sixth in the league standings.
Tonight, they face Derby County at Oakwell hoping to make it eight wins on the bounce and further cement their place in the play-off places.
One player who has been integral in Barnsley’s rise under Ismael is Callum Styles.
The 20-year-old has made 30 league appearances this season, scoring four goals and chipping in with two assists from wing-back.
If the Tykes fail to win promotion, could Styles attract glances from the Premier League? We discuss…
The 20-year-old has been really impressive this season and you’d imagine that Premier League clubs may look at him as a player that their coaches could really work with.
Barnsley are fighting above their weight at the moment and you feel that given the size of the club, it’s likely the Tykes could be made an offer they simply can’t afford to refuse.
Fans will be disappointed to see him go but it’s really a win-win for the club, who would benefit from a big sale and reinvestment in their squad.
This is certainly an interesting one to consider from a Barnsley perspective.
As of yet, there doesn’t appear to have been too much speculation about Styles’ future beyond the end of this season, although it may not be much of a surprise if that were to change, were Barnsley to miss out on promotion this season.
Styles has shown during the course of the season so far just how much ability he possesses even at such a young age, meaning he does have the potential to go much further in his career in the future.
As a result, if the Tykes do miss out on a return to the Premier League, you could understand it if top-flight clubs were to start taking an interest in him, to ensure they do not miss out on what could prove to be a relative bargain for a player who could certainly make an impact in the Premier League further the line, an opportunity they would be unlikely to get again if he were to move to another top-flight side this summer.
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I’m not convinced that the midfielder will be in the top flight next term unless Barnsley go up.
The 20-year-old has enjoyed a great season considering his tender age and it’d be foolish to think that he won’t end up in the top flight eventually.
But I’m not sure he’s ready yet.
There is a chance, however, that one of the top clubs in the Championship could come knocking – or even one of the relegated sides.
But for now I think that the only way he’ll be in the Premier League is by getting promoted with Barnsley.