Position: Central Midfielder/ Right-Sided Midfielder
Age: 20 *
At Club Since: N/A (Academy Product)
Total Club League Appearances (Goals): 62(8) *
Clearly the next great talent to emerge from our academy, Tom Bayliss’ second season as a first-team player has inevitably been less stand-out than his initial breakthrough and has raised doubts in some, very small, quarters as to whether we could do without him. Although Bayliss hasn’t grabbed the goals or assists that his ability for the positions he can ease himself into from central midfield, he has arguably been let down by his team-mates inability to read what he is attempting to pull off rather than poor decision-making.
It has perhaps been taken for granted just what Tom Bayliss is capable of. Those elegant, spindly-legged dashes through central midfield, progressing from the half-way line to the edge of the area in the blink of an eye open up games in a manner that few other League One midfielders can even attempt. Oddly for a talented young central midfielder, Bayliss’ is a better dribbler than passer of the ball. Attempts to play him further forward haven’t worked as Bayliss is better driving forward with the ball from deep than receiving it on the turn in tight areas, moreover, he has shown that he has the defensive awareness to be perfectly competent in a central midfield two. If we are serious about promotion, Bayliss is the kind of Championship-ready player we should move heaven and earth to keep.
*As of 01/07/2019