Leeds United’s Sam Byram has been scouted by a number of Premier League clubs this season. Byram has been involved in a contract dispute with his club as he becomes a free agent in the summer and the club naturally want him to sign a new contract so as to avoid losing him for cheap. Liverpool could land the player for as little as £5 million in January.
The club owner Massimo Cellino has gone on record to state his annoyance about Byram thinking he is bigger than his club. It would therefore, not be wrong to assume that the hype around the player is there for a reason.
The player, despite being 22, has over 130 appearances for Leeds since making his debut for the club at the start of 2012/13 season. The Englishman was able to cement his place quickly and his brilliant performances earned him both the fans and players’ player of the year awards back in 2013.
Versatile and intelligent
The 22-year-old is a versatile player who can operate at both right back, as well as ahead in the winger role. His vision and intelligence stand out well as he can pick out good passes as well as crosses. In fact, he is a very good crosser when he is playing forward in an attacking role, or when he is overlapping from the right-back position.
The biggest attribute for a full-back or winger has to be pace and Byram possesses that in abundance. It allows him to move forward to attack and link the play with attackers but he can track back when needed.
He possesses a good physique which means he is not easily dispossessed and can challenge for the ball well. He has three goals this season from 13 starts, which shows that he can add the goal-threat for the team he is representing.
Widespread interest from Premier League sides
Byram has been looked at by Premier League clubs ever since breaking onto the scene at Elland Road and there will be considerable interest in the youngster in this transfer window considering he is not signing a contract extension.
It makes sense for Liverpool to be looking at options this winter as even without their present depleted squad (due to injuries), Nathaniel Clyne has no first-team back-up in his position. The summer signing has been a good addition but the lack of back-up is quite staggering and the England international has been forced to play almost every game in all competitions. He has played every minute in the Premier League so far, the only Liverpool player to do so.
Liverpool quite clearly need an addition in his position and Byram seems to be a perfect target, due to his ability as well as versatility. Too often this season, the Reds have been unable to offer much threat from the wide positions and stretch the game, only relying on the full-backs. The Leeds United player’s ability to play further up means that Klopp could use Clyne and Byram together and see if it pays dividends.
If it works, Liverpool might be saved from spending too much on the winger position that isn’t as grave a requirement as others like the goalkeeper as well as the central defender positions that definitely require to be addressed with more urgency.
A seamless transition?
For the player, if he is able to secure a move away to the Premier League this January, and not necessarily to Liverpool, it would be a test for him initially, but considering the way he made his way up the youth ranks at Leeds and fit in the senior squad so seamlessly, you’d expect him to establish himself as a first-team regular in short time.
Written by Aakriti Mehrotra
Follow Aakriti on Twitter @Aakriti1
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