Barnsley FC's Callum Styles wins award - and Valerien Ismael issues a message

BARNSLEY midfielder Callum Styles has scooped the EFL’s Young Player of the Month award for February after a string of stand-out performances.

The Bury-born player has enjoyed a remarkable rise to prominence in the past year at Oakwell and has rapidly emerged as one of the rising stars of the Championship.

Styles played his part in a outstanding February for the Reds, who won all five league games last month against Brentford, Blackburn, Bristol City, Stoke City and Millwall to propel themselves into firm play-off contention, while also push Premier League outfit Chelsea all the way in the FA Cup.

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The Lancastrian, who turns 21 later this month, is the first Reds player to win the accolade since Jacob Brown in January 2019.

Barnsley midfielder Callum Styles with his EFL Young Player of the Month award for February. Picture courtesy of Barnsley FC.

The club’s previous winner before that was Dale Jennings back in March 2014.

The monthly accolade. is an award for young players in all three divisions of the English Football League.

To be eligible, players must be under-21 or turn 21 during the current season.

On the accolade for Styles, head coach Valerien Ismael said: "He is a young player with a lot of possibilities and it is a reward for his own performance in the past month. He was a big part of our success.

"But he needs the consistency. For sure, he deserves the reward, but in the last few games, we have missed the consistency and high level and he needs to keep working on that level to stay because he now needs to bring the confirmation for all the hard work he puts in during training and in the game."

Barnsley’s feats earned a Championship manager-of-the-month nomination for Ismael, but he lost out to Cardiff City’s Barnsley-born boss Mick McCarthy, whose Bluebirds’ side won six out of seven league games last month, drawing the other.

Reds defender Michal Helik was also among the four nominees for the player-of-the-month gong for February, but the award went to Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki.