From cheering on England to beating them twice….Millwall new boy Callum Styles has enjoyed dream international introduction

Callum Styles has had plenty of drama in his career over the past six months, with his deadline day dash to join Millwall just the latest chapter.

The 22-year-old was confirmed as a Lions loan signing from Barnsley a week ago, the South Londoners forced to wait for EFL confirmation on Friday morning that the necessary paperwork had been submitted in time.

Eventful – but nothing like the back story after Styles landed an international call-up with Hungary.

He made his debut in a 1-0 home loss to Serbia in March

Styles then faced some of Europe’s heavyweights in the Nations League in June – beating England home and away, drawing with Germany and only losing 2-1 to reigning European Championship holders Italy in Cesena.

“It was a pinch me moment,” Styles told the South London Press.

“I supported England in the Euros when they got to the final, with all my mates in a beer garden. All the country was just united together. Then the next year I’m playing against them twice and beating them twice.

“Back then when I was watching England in the Euros, I was never thinking I’d be doing what I did. That’s how quickly things happen in football and how quickly life can change as well. I was just buzzing with it – and I had a really good holiday afterwards.”

Styles played against Harry Kane, John Stones, Bukayo Saka, Jack Grealish, Raheem Sterling, Declan Rice and Jude Bellingham – all part of Gareth Southgate’s squad which went so close to glory at Wembley in July 2021. But swapping shirts with established Premier League stars did not even come into his thoughts.

“All my mates back home asked if I had,” said Styles, who grew up in Manchester and supports United. “I was like: ‘No, I was just enjoying winning and celebrating with the boys’. I was living in the moment. I didn’t think ‘this is whoever in the Premier League, who I watch every week’.”

Styles qualifies for the Magyars, World Cup runners-up in 1938 and 1954, through his grandparents.

It took a number of months for him to gain international clearance.

Even after his first appearance his profile was instantly raised out there.

England’s Conor Gallagher (left) and Hungary’s Callum Styles battle for the ball during the UEFA Nations League match at the Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton. Picture date: Tuesday June 14, 2022.

“Two days after the Serbia match I met up with my family, because they came out to watch, and we went out for food in Budapest,” recalled Styles. “I got stopped about five times –  which I was amazed at.

“I’d literally just been called up, I’d only played about 35 minutes and that was already happening in just one evening. You think: ‘This is different levels’.

“That will be a lot more [recognition] than I get in London. London is just a mad place, it’s so fast moving it is crazy.”

Fulham, Bournemouth and Forest were all linked with Styles in the summer of 2022. Fast forward 12 months and the links were to Sheffield United, Blackburn and Stoke City. But it was Millwall, flying under the radar, who get a deal over the line.

“There were quite a few times I was close to going but at some clubs it was a chain – so they needed to sell a player to then buy me,” said Styles. “In a couple of instances the player they wanted to sell got injured. That stopped me transferring.

“Finances were a problem for a lot of clubs and it was a chain situation which didn’t fall my way.”

A 45-minute train delay last Thursday meant Styles only arrived in Euston at 8pm. It left little more than two hours for the South Londoners to complete the transfer by the time he reached The Den.

And there was also the extra complication of other clubs trying to gazump the Lions.

“There were a lot of problems on the Barnsley side which made it take so long,” said Styles. “There was a lot of panicking in the Millwall offices, thinking it wouldn’t get done. I got to the point where everything was out of my hands. I was down there and I was calm.

“My mentality was that if it happens it happens, and if not I can’t control that.

“There was no point me getting irate about it.

“But with 15 minutes to go, and the Millwall colleagues were starting to get mad stressed, it started to hit me ‘this might not get done’.

“There was disruption, but they had all the proof to show the FA that they sent it on time. Thankfully it got over the line.”

From cheering on England to beating them twice….Millwall new boy Callum Styles has enjoyed dream international introduction - entertainment news kenya - Entertainment - Public News Time

The whirlwind nature of the move was capped off by Styles coming straight into Gary Rowett’s side for the 2-0 win over Cardiff City on Saturday.

He started at left wing-back, replacing Scott Malone, and then switched to central midfield shortly after the hour mark.
Styles had the most touches and successful tackles of any Millwall player and the joint highest amount of dribbles. That included a couple of byline-busting runs past

Mahlon Romeo in the opening 45 minutes, one leading to Zian Flemming curling narrowly wide of the upright.

He found out he was in the team 90 minutes before kick-off.

“I had a weird feeling I might be starting but I just thought that was maybe just me being hopeful,” said Styles. “I was sat at the ground on deadline day and I must’ve got about three hours’ sleep that night and then trained the next day. It was a mad two days.

“The lads played really well on Saturday and we got the win, so it was a really good couple of days for me.

“I thought I did well and that I was on the front foot and trying to make things happen. That’s what Millwall have probably been lacking in the last couple of games, getting on the ball and trying to make things happen.

“The main thing is that we won because the lads had been on the back of three defeats on the bounce. It was really important to get that win to stop the run of losses.”

Former Tykes boss Gerhard Struber was the first to play Styles at left wing-back. But last season was a mixed bag of roles including 12 matches on the right of midfield – effectively playing both further advanced as well as more being on defensive details.

“It would be easy to say: ‘Yeah, I prefer this position’ but it totally depends who I’m playing with, how we’re set up to play and how the game is,” said Styles.

“There are pros and cons for each position in different games. You get the best of me when I’m on the ball – in and around the box I can score goals. It’s a tough one to say what I actually prefer. I’ve played midfield all my life, I’d probably say that is my more natural position.”

From cheering on England to beating them twice….Millwall new boy Callum Styles has enjoyed dream international introduction - entertainment news kenya - Entertainment - Public News Time
Barnsley’s Callum Styles in action during the Sky Bet Championship match at Bramall Lane, Sheffield. Picture date: Saturday March 19, 2022.

Styles scored five times and picked up four assists when Barnsley reached the Championship play-offs in 2021. Valerien Ismael’s side lost 2-1 on aggregate to Swansea City.

“It was a really, really good season with Val,” said Styles. “All the players just bought into it and we had a really, really good group. That unity and togetherness was there.

“Everyone dreams of playing in the Premier League one day and we were so close. It was a bit gutting we didn’t make it but for the resources and budget Barnsley have, compared to all the other teams in the Champ, it is incredible how we got up there in the first place.”

So what should be the target for his new club?

“It’s got to be a push for the play-offs again,” said Styles. “We did it at Barnsley, with a lower budget and they are not as big a club. Millwall came close last season. We’ve got to be pushing for them, for sure.”

Styles signed a new contract with Barnsley until the summer of 2025 before being cleared to leave.

But there was a claim afterwards that a release clause was inserted – making it far more straightforward for a club to do a deal.

“There’s definitely an option to buy,” said Styles. “I don’t know whether that is a release clause for Millwall, but there is definitely something in there for them to buy.”

Hungary wrap up their Nations League schedule with Germany on September 23 at Leipzig’s Red Bull Arena before hosting Italy on September 26.
Marco Rossi’s side are top of League A Group 3.

“I think we need at least one point to stay in the top division – as long as England don’t win both of their games,” said Styles. “I’m massively for Hungary now I’m playing for them.”

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