Southampton have been credited with showing an interest in young Barnsley midfielder Callum Styles, who looks to be a bright prospect.
This is according to a report from the Sunday Mirror (Feb 14th 2021, page 70), who mention Saints amongst the teams looking to sign the 20-year-old.
Barnsley will the know the value of their man though. Styles can play a variety of positions in midfield and has four goals and two assists playing on the left flank this season.
His performance against Norwich City in the FA Cup – highlights in the video below – shows that he has the ability to influence games and has an eye for goal when he gets in the right positions.
Would Callum Styles fit in at Southampton?
Looking at the Saints squad, it is unclear whether Styles would fit into Ralph Hasenhuttl’s squad with other options currently at St Mary’s.
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Styles’ main position is central-midfield and his attacking abilities see him drive forward to provide a goal threat. However, he has played 22 games as a left-midfielder for Barnsley in 2020/21.
Saints have good options in midfield areas at the moment. James Ward-Prowse, Oriol Romeu and Ibrahima Diallo have all proven to be ideal fits for Hasenhuttl’s style of play in the 4-2-2-2 system.
Will Smallbone then gives a fourth alternative and has the technique to play further forward as an attacking-midfielder too, meaning that Styles would have significant competition if he wanted to become a first-team player straight away with Saints.
Interestingly, it appears that Barnsley are playing a pressing style of their own under current manager Valerien Ismael, although the Frenchman utilises a 3-4-3 system.
Via whoscored.com, Barnsley have made a league high of 13.9 interceptions per game in the Championship this season, so perhaps Saints see Styles as a player who is learning football that is similar to their own at this moment in time.
Saints can certainly be expected to be active in the summer transfer window after making just one signing in January despite squad depth proving an issue.