PROFILE: A look at Norwich City new boy Sam McCallum

Sam McCallum signed for City on Deadline Day. Picture: Norwich City FC

Sam McCallum signed for City on Deadline Day. Picture: Norwich City FC

JASON DAWSON ©Jason Dawson

Sometimes in football, things just fit.

McCallum is refusing to forget his humble beginnings. Picture: Steve WallerMcCallum is refusing to forget his humble beginnings. Picture: Steve Waller

Think Darren Huckerby. Click.

Think Wes Hoolahan. Click.

Think James Maddison. Click.

It's the scenario that every manager, owner, sporting director wants and the one every fan reaches for when a new signing is unveiled.

Now that Sam McCallum has become the latest player to join Norwich City, there will undoubtedly be comparisons made with Maddison.

The midfielder also came here in the January window, as an investment for the future, also from Coventry City, also going straight back on loan before returning and, well, saving the club when he was sold to Leicester City for a massive £20m-plus profit.

Tottenham's Ryan Sessegnon is a role model for Sam McCallum Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdTottenham's Ryan Sessegnon is a role model for Sam McCallum Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

That may be putting some pressure on the 19-year-old, but it comes with the territory.

Norwich City have a business model: buy young players for reasonable prices, develop them and, without wishing to de-personalise football completely, make them valuable commodities.

Look at Ben Godfrey, Jamal Lewis and Max Aarons for starters. All Academy products - City's or otherwise - who have risen to the rank of Premier League footballers.

Or Emi Buendia, signed from La Liga side Getafe after an impressive loan season with second tier Spanish side Cultural y Deportiva Leonesa.

It's the way of the City world. McCallum is now part of it.

There are plenty of debates to be had about how he fits into the City squad in the summer: he's a left back, so what effect does that have on Lewis, recently linked with Crystal Palace, among others. Does Sam Byram go to his natural right back berth, leaving McCallum to battle with Lewis for a place on the left? If so, what does that mean for the in-demand Aarons?

James Maddison - a success story in so many ways for Norwich City Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images LtdJames Maddison - a success story in so many ways for Norwich City Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Much depends on City's status come the end of the season: stay in the top flight and things might be different to another Championship campaign when the likelihood of Godfrey, Aarons and Lewis departing Carrow Road increases significantly.

There are some who would prefer City to empty the coffers and spend, spend, spend to survive. But that's not the plan and, frankly, it's not an easy policy to support. The feeling is often prompted by similarly-sized clubs splashing out big money and City supporters feeling hard done by - yesterday, Sheffield United spent a club record £22m on Norwegian midfielder Sander Berge from Belgian side Genk.

So what have City got with McCallum?

Well, he's a player a lot of other clubs wanted. Liverpool had apparently been tracking him, but when he had to respond to the speculation he showed a mature side: "It's just in the background and until anything comes up I am just focused on Coventry.

"My head is not anywhere else at the moment. I just want to get minutes at Coventry.

"I have another year after this season and hopefully they will just use me more and see me as an asset that I can go and create chances and score more goals."

When Liverpool - reportedly - are calling it takes some will power to douse the excitement, but McCallum swatted it away rather neatly.

"I did see that and I suppose it doesn't get much bigger than that but like I said, it's just in the background and nothing has come of it," he said. "It does make me smile.

"It makes me feel happy but you obviously don't know what's true and what's not, so..."

McCallum broke into Coventry's first team last season, having made a huge leap from playing non league football at Herne Bay.

He has made 35 appearances in all competitions for Coventry - Maddison had made a total of 30 before he signed for the Canaries.

Any comparisons with Maddison the player are a tad unfair: they don't play the same position for starters. It's more about the fitting of a round peg into a round hole as far as club policy is concerned.

And if you do want to compare McCallum with another player, then hear it from the horse's mouth: "(Ryan) Sessegnon is a sort of role model of mine," McCallum said in an interview with the Coventry Telegraph.

"I see myself as a similar player. I think we have similar characteristics and sometimes I do watch him play and try to take tips from his game.

"He's made big strides in a short space of time."

McCallum may one day follow the career path of James Maddison. If it all clicks.

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