Five possible Premier League destinations for Leeds star Sam Byram
Leeds United (15/2 top six Championship chances with Coral) owner Massimo Cellino is not one to hold in his feelings, and has now spoken out about one of his star homegrown players in Sam Byram, who has reportedly refused to sign a new contract.
“Sam Byram is the only one that maybe thinks Leeds is too small for him,” the controversial chairman said.
“He maybe thinks he deserves to be in a bigger team and a bigger club, and maybe he’s right. But when I hear that a player from Leeds, with his agent, that he thinks that Leeds is not big enough for him, that he wants something bigger, I felt really embarrassed.
“He didn’t sign the new contract and he won’t sign it anymore. He’s been offered a contract a few times, he didn’t want to sign and I am deeply offended.”
So, in light of these outspoken comments, Coral writers have found five possible destinations for the 22-year-old, who started his career as a right back but has proven he is equally adept playing on the wing.
The Toffees have been long-term admirers of Byram and, with Seamus Coleman likely to move on next summer with the likes of Bayern Munich, PSG and top Premier League sides after him, the Whites graduate is a perfect fit.
Veteran clubman Tony Hibbert’s playing career is surely coming to an end soon too, so Roberto Martinez will need to think about replacements.
Netherlands defender Daryl Janmaat is Steve McClaren’s first choice right back but, with the Magpies win-less this season in the Premier League and down in 19th, they’ll need to bring in fresh talent, perhaps as soon as January.
The Toon are in desperate need of British players, and Byram can certainly shine and may not even have to relocate with Newcastle also being in the Northeast.
Newly-promoted Norwich have a habit of snapping up Leeds stars, with the likes of Jonny Howson, Bradley Johnson, Luciano Becchio and Robert Snodgrass all making the move in recent seasons.
The Canaries (7/2 for relegation) do have cover at right back and on the wing, but Byram would certainly add extra quality to the team and would link-up with fellow Whites graduate Howson, who is still at the East Anglia club.
South coast side Southampton (5/1 for a top six finish) have done a wonderful job nurturing young English talent in the past few years, including right backs Nathaniel Clyne and Calum Chambers, who have now been sold on for high fees.
They currently have Portugal’s Cedric Soares and Cuco Martina in that area, but Byram could give them a run for their money.
Spurs have signed their fair share of Yorkshiremen in recent seasons, with Kyle Walker, Kyle Naughton, Michael Dawson and Aaron Lennon all having turned out for the club.
Although Byram was born in Essex, he was brought up and schooled in York, but he can now return closer to home with Walker injury prone and Kieran Trippier yet to shine.