Why Arsenal should move for Sam McCallum as one for the future
According to claims from The Mirror, as relayed by the Daily Star, Arsenal have been credited with an interest in Coventry City starlet Sam McCallum, who is one of the brightest emerging prospects in the League One.
However, if the Gunners are to get their hands on the coveted left-back, they would need to beat off competition from Premier League rivals Aston Villa, as well as Championship high-flyers West Brom. (Mirror h/t Daily Star)
Born in Canterbury, the 19-year-old started his footballing education at non-league outfit Herne Bay before completing a move to Coventry City last summer.
McCallum made a total of 8 appearances for the Sky Blues in his debut season but he has established himself as an undisputed starter in the playing XI this term.
As per whoscored, the 19-year-old has averaged 3.2 aerial duels, 1 tackle, 1.3 interceptions, 2.3 clearances, 1 key pass and 3.1 successful long balls per game in League One this term, figures which speak volumes of his prodigious talent.
Taking a closer look at those numbers, McCallum has won 32 out of a possible 46 aerial duels, which is incredible for someone so young.
A tally of 10 successful tackles out of 19 suggests that he still has to work on his tackling.
Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Unai Emery currently finds himself on the brink, following a series of unimpressive results.
As evident from the incorporation of academy prospects Bukayo Saka, Reiss Nelson and Joe Willock in the first-team in the Premier League this season, Emery often hands the youngsters a fair crack of the whip. And McCallum definitely has the potential to be the next big thing at the Emirates.
The left-back is one of the many areas of the backline which is yet to be sorted out, despite the big-money arrival of Kieran Tierney from Celtic in the summer.
With Tierney playing a bit-part role in the first quarter of the campaign due to his struggles with injuries, Sead Kolasinac has been given the nod more often than not. While the Bosnian hasn’t been outrightly poor, he has often left a lot to desire with his mediocre performances.
Still in his formative years as a professional, the 19-year-old is hardly a finished article just yet.
To that end, it will be interesting to see how Arsenal handle the youngster if a move to the Emirates does materialize.
Allowing him to compete with the likes of Tolaji Bola and Tobi Omole in the U23s for a place in the Premier League 2 side would be a good idea while loaning him back to Coventry City might also be a stance worth considering, given that the 19-year-old needs to play regularly in order to further his development.
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All in all, Arsenal’s links with Sam McCallum certainly strikes the right chords and this looks like a move that could well pay off handsomely in the future.