CALLUM Styles is one of the most long-serving and experienced Championship players in the Barnsley squad and, despite being only 21, wants to be a leadership figure this season.
He has played 131 career games and, of all the players who have appeared for Barnsley so far this season, only Cauley Woodrow has more Championship appearances or goals than Styles with 67 and six respectively.
This is his fourth season as a Barnsley player, as many as anyone else in the squad, as he played a minor role in their promotion in 2019 then was more critical in keeping them in the Championship last year and taking them into the play-offs in May this year.
Styles told the Chronicle: “I have got a quite a few games under my belt but I want more.
“We are a young squad but last season was a massive experience for all of us and we learned a lot.
“I can be a bit of a leader in there. It’s all of our responsibility. You get experience through games and we all need to keep the togetherness and the standards high which will help the young lads coming through.
“It’s very important for all of us to do our bit.”
Styles has been impressed by younger players such as Jasper Moon who have stepped in this season due to a series of injuries and other absences which have left the Reds low on numbers.
He said: “When all the players are back there will be lots of competition and good battles.
“We will all push each other to get better.
“The standard will go up.
“We have a young squad anyway but we’ve had new young lads stepping in and doing very well like Jasper. He’s been around the squad for a couple of seasons now, he’s stepped in and done well.”
Styles was due to play in central midfield this season, his original position, but has been used at left wing-back due to injuries there.
“It’s fine. It’s natural to me. I can play centre mid or left wing-back. I’m not really bothered, I just want to be playing.”
Styles has been impressed by new midfielders Josh Benson and Claudio Gomes.
“They are both really good players. They are really good on the ball. They have trained and played with elite players in the Premier League.
“They can only add strength to the team.
“They are good additions.”