The third player to return to the club over the summer – following in the footsteps of Callum O’Hare and Ryan Giles – in the case of Sam McCallum though, the first-team picture in his position has shifted during the short period he’s been away from the club. Although he had been first-choice at left wing-back ahead of Brandon Mason and Ryan Giles last season, Sam McCallum is not guaranteed to walk back into the side, following Ryan Giles’ early form. With McCallum’s parent club, Norwich City, down to one left-back as a result of this move, it is a move that doesn’t make sense for them unless assurances have been made over his place in the side here. While McCallum strengthens Mark Robins’ first-team options, it’s a move that doesn’t immediately make a lot of sense for any of the parties involved.
Delving into this curious decision further, the first question to ask is whether Sam McCallum is a good enough player to immediately take Ryan Giles’ place in the side. While McCallum earned a multi-million pound move to a then-Premier League club back in January, he only really put in a handful of performances last season that matched the potential he had been spoken about having. Those performances – starting with the 4-1 victory over Wycombe Wanderers – were excellent, McCallum played with a glide to surge past opponents, looked a genuine goal threat from left wing-back and used his physical presence well to deal with opposition attackers. However, those performances faded and while McCallum more than held his own for the most part last season, he was clearly still a work in progress as a full-back/wing-back, both defensively and going forward.
Sam McCallum is unlikely to have been allowed to return to Coventry City without assurances of first-team football – it would be a waste of time for both the player and Norwich City otherwise. The most obvious way this move makes sense is if Ryan Giles is pushed further forward towards what has been considered a stronger position for him, despite his excellent performances at left wing-back thus far. Given how Mark Robins promoted Sam McCallum last season before most Coventry City fans thought he was ready, it may simply be the case that our manager has an incredibly high opinion of McCallum and believes that he is a player that you shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to sign.
In a few games’ time, we’re going to have a better impression of the logic behind bringing Sam McCallum back to the club.