Leeds United have been issued a warning by Coventry City boss Mark Robins, who has insisted that any side interested in signing Sam McCallum would have to pay a ‘monumental’ transfer fee, as quoted by the Coventry Telegraph.
McCallum has been linked with several clubs this season, with Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion, Huddersfield Town and Nottingham Forest joining the Whites in being credited with an interest in the teenage defender.
McCallum is a graduate of Coventry’s academy, having moved to the Ricoh Arena from boyhood side Herne Bay FC in the summer of 2018 – making his senior debut for the Sky Blues in the EFL Trophy against Cheltenham Town in November 2018 (TransferMarkt) shortly after his 18th birthday.
The left-back went on to feature in seven League One fixtures last term, and has been a regular under Robins in the current campaign with four starts from five of a possible nine league outings since Coventry began groundsharing with Birmingham City.
Coventry have been so mightily impressed by McCallum’s development rate that they tied him down to a long-term contract in March that takes him until the summer of 2022, having identified his potential in non-league for their Under-23s.
Scouts from higher divisions have flocked to the Sky Blues’ fixtures to cast judgment on the Canterbury-born youngster, but Robins is adamant that his side are not interested in selling their highly-rated prospect.
“No,” the Sky Blues boss stated when asked if he was surprised in the interest McCallum has received. “He’s a really good player. But if anyone wants to take him, it’s going to cost a hell of a lot of money.
“There’s no interest or appetite to sell, and I wouldn’t think it would be beneficial for him to go anywhere at this stage. He’s not at the stage where he’s going to be a regular every week, but the possibility is that he will be.
“You know what I think of him and what we think about him here, and for us to let him go it would take a monumental bid from anyone. And I think if anyone is going to take him it’s going to have to be a top Premier League team.”
McCallum will certainly be one to keep an eye on, but if Coventry demand a ‘monumental’ fee for the teenager at this stage of his career, Leeds would be risking an awful lot.
The teenager has only played 15 first-team games in his career across all competitions, and naturally has a lot of areas where he needs to improve before any side can justify a hefty transfer fee.
In his five League One outings this term, McCallum is only averaging 0.9 successful tackles per 90 minutes from 2.3 attempts, and has been dribbled past 1.4 times, per WhoScored data.
He is also committing 1.2 fouls per 90 minutes, lost possession through unsuccessful touches 1.6 times, and misplaced 12.8 of his 38.3 attempted passes on average.
Iron a few of his weaknesses out, then a swoop could be worthwhile, but still only at the right price.
Leeds fans, how much would you deem an acceptable bid to meet Coventry’s ‘monumental’ asking price for McCallum? Let us know in the comments below…
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