A 19 year-old centre-back and an England youth international from one of the country’s top academies, Coventry City have got, more or less, what could be expected from Callum Doyle in his time at the club thus far. An assured and comfortable player on the ball, but a little less comfortable in defensive duels, Callum Doyle will only improve with further experience. The key to Doyle’s time with the Sky Blues is whether those improvements from experience will come at a quick enough pace in order to nail down a starting place and become an asset for the team.
It is Callum Doyle’s ability on the ball – both in terms of picking passes and carrying the ball up the pitch – that is his stand-out attribute. With the team generally having less of the ball than it did last season, Doyle has only been able to demonstrate his technique in flashes, but those flashes have been exhilarating. As a defender, Doyle has a good reading of the game and times his challenges well, it’s just that his slight physicality means that he has to stay on high alert throughout matches to avoid being outmuscled by opponents. While the defensive side of his game isn’t Doyle’s strength, he holds his own in a tough division, with that technical ability a further string to his bow.
That there are two left-footed centre-backs competing for one spot in the side has been what has held Callum Doyle back in his time at Coventry City thus far. Despite having had a spell in the team on the right of the back three and done pretty well there due to his technical ability allowing him to sort his feet out easier than other players on their wrong side, Mark Robins clearly doesn’t see that position for Doyle as viable over the long-term of this season. With Jonathan Panzo providing greater physicality in a defence that has been at its best this season when sitting deep and absorbing pressure, it could be hard for Doyle to start games regularly unless the team finds a way to be successful with a more proactive style. There is plenty of time left in the season for that to be a possibility, if Coventry City can find a way to harness Callum Doyle’s raw talent, it would make the team all the more attractive to watch.