Opinion: In light of Gus Hamer’s departure, Coventry should consider pursuing a Barnsley midfielder who has a release clause of £2 million.

Coventry should swoop for Barnsley midfielder with £2 million release clause following Gus Hamer exit: Opinion

With the Sky Blues raking in £15 million for Hamer, they should put some money towards a potential deal for Hungary international Callum Styles

Gus Hamer
Gus Hamer


Coventry City fans who got an early night on Friday will have woke up to the worst possible news – Gustavo Hamer is no longer a Sky Blue.

Hamer’s departure may have been somewhat inevitable in the end due to his contract situation, but a transfer window where Cov lost both their top scorer in Viktor Gyokeres and their midfield general was never going to be ideal no matter how much of the money owner Doug King re-invests.

Callum Styles

With Gyokeres sold to Sporting CP for £20 million and Hamer’s move to Sheffield United of the Premier League for £15 million, it has given Coventry a whole lot of cash to play with, and manager Mark Robins has been backed with what he wants and needs.

Permanent deals for Bobby Thomas, Brad Collins, Joel Latibeaudiere, Tatsuhiro Sakamoto, Jay Dasilva, Milan van Ewijk and then the most eye-catching moves of the lot with a £3.5 million swoop for Everton’s Ellis Simms and the club-record £7.7 million agreement for United States international Haji Wright.

Coventry will not stop there though with their spending, as evidenced by their bid for Barnsley’s left-sided defender Liam Kitching that was turned down – believed to be in the region of an initial £2.5 million according to the Barnsley Chronicle.

With Hamer’s departure to Bramall Lane though, a more pressing matter has emerged with a need for a new energetic, creative midfield player.

Whoever that player is has massive shoes to fill and it’s likely that one player alone is not going to be able to make half of the impact that Hamer had last season, but a couple of signings in that area should do the trick.

Who is Callum Styles?

Styles broke into the professional game at a very early age with Bury when he was 16 years old, making his debut for the Shakers in 2016 and playing 27 times for them before securing a move to Barnsley, who spotted his talent from an early age.

Callum Styles bandsly
Callum Styles

After returning to Bury on loan in 2018, Styles did not really establish himself in the Tykes’ first-team until the final stages of the 2019-20 season, and despite being a natural central midfielder he found a starting spot at left wing-back under Valerien Ismael in 2020-21.

And with that in mind, Coventry should be heading back to Barnsley – not with another offer for Kitching right now but to bring a new midfielder in in the form of Callum Styles.

Styles flourished in that position as Barnsley made the Championship play-offs, but changes in managers during the following season saw him feature all over the park, including more advanced roles on the right wing and the number 10 role.

He stayed in the Championship in 2022 when Barnsley were relegated to League One as he secured a loan move to Millwall, but a muscle injury saw him miss months of the campaign as the Lions just missed out on the play-off spots.

Styles was in Barnsley’s starting 11 under new boss Neill Collins last weekend as they smashed Port Vale 7-0 at Oakwell in their first match of the League One season, but there’s no denying that the 23-year-old is a Championship-level talent, and his international career probably depends on him playing at least at that level.

With 12 caps for Hungary already, Styles will be a mainstay in their squad as long as he’s playing at a decent level, and Coventry could provide him with a new platform.

What is Callum Styles’ current situation with Barnsley?

Before heading to Millwall last year for the rest of the 2022-23 season, Styles extended his contract at Oakwell until 2025, meaning that if the Lions did not sign him permanently he would still retain his value.

Styles now has just under two years remaining on his deal in South Yorkshire, but The Athletic claimed earlier this summer when he was being linked with a reunion with Valerien Ismael at Watford that he has a release clause in his contract of £2 million.


For a full international midfielder with a few years of Championship experience at the age of 23, that could end up being a bargain in a couple of years time when he’s developed his craft even further.

And for that figure, Coventry should be all over a deal as it would also give the Sky Blues more balance in their midfield, with left-footed options somewhat lacking in that area.

Styles is energetic, has a wand of a left foot when it’s put to good use and when he is in dangerous areas, and whilst his goals and assists record may not stand out, he still has time to really add those to his game.

Before the 2021-22 season, Hamer hadn’t necessarily been a goal contribution presence, but his nine assists that year, couple with is 11-goal, 10-assist season in 2022-23 just showed what can be done in a more advanced role.

For just £2 million, Coventry would be silly to not be in the running for his services but if he continues to perform in a winning League One team then the interested parties could grow – the Sky Blues therefore need to move quick



Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.