Former Liverpool winger Adam Hammill produced a masterclass for Barnsley against Championship newcomers Leeds United on Tuesday evening.
The Tykes romped to a 5-2 victory at Oakwell to move just outside the play-off places and into seventh, as winger Hammill took United to pieces. The quick and skillful 22-year-old had a hand in all five goals and was given a ringing endorsement from his manager Mark Robins after the game, who tipped him to become a future Premier League star.
“He has everything in his locker; he just needs the guile and the know-how. He needs that type of thing in his game and he’ll be heading off to the Premier League,” revealed Robins.
Hammill has been impressive for Barnsley since making a previous loan move permanent last summer. The highly-rated youngster was a member of the Liverpool 2006 FA Youth Cup winning side but ultimately failed to break into the Reds first-team squad after graduating from the club’s academy. He was then loaned out to gain first-team experience and had spells at Dunfermline, Southampton and Blackpool, before he was picked up by the now departed Simon Davey at Barnsley.
The exciting left-winger unsettles defenders with his dribbling ability and also has the capacity to score some truly stupendous goals. Hammill was awarded the club’s Young Player of the Season award in his first permanent full season with the Reds, as well as picking up the Goal of the Season award in the last campaign.
Premier League trio West Brom, Blackpool and Bolton are all expected to fight for the player’s services in the January transfer window and these clubs would give Hammill the opportunity to develop further. Competition will be fierce in the Premier League however and Hammill would be wise to continue his development under Robins at Barnsley for a few more years.
Despite his impressive form and potential transfer to the Premier League, I do not think Liverpool will regret selling Hammill. The club’s youth and reserve side are now packed with players of star potential and it is difficult to see Hammill commanding a place ahead of exciting talents such as Suso, Daniel Pacheco, Danny Wilson and Jay Spearing. The Reds may have got a higher fee for the player had they loaned him out for another spell before selling, although Hammill has obviously benefited from a permanent move and fresh start in South Yorkshire.
Hammill is said to have a clause in his contract allowing him to return to the Premier League for as little as £500,000 and could prove to be a real bargain should a club decide to take a risk on the rising star.