Leeds United defender Sam Byram’s deal is set to expire in the summer, but he has claimed that he would love to stay on longer at the West Yorkshire club, a place which he views as “home”.
Byram rejoined the Whites last summer on a free transfer and – when fit – has massively impressed in the left-back berth. Across 22 appearances in all competitions the 30-year-old has displayed defensive aptitude as well as – perhaps even more crucially in manager Daniel Farke’s system – a willingness to get forward and assist in attack.
Yet, considering Byram’s history with injuries, the general consensus amongst Leeds fans tends to be that their club would be better served in signing a more consistent left-back during the January transfer window.
This is a move which could see Byram switch to his natural position of right-back as a result, most likely as a back-up to youngster Archie Gray who this week signed a four-year contract extension with the Whites.
What has Byram said?
Byram is highly rated by both fans and Farke, but with the terms of his current deal set to expire in the summer, there is uncertainty surrounding his immediate future in West Yorkshire.
For the 30-year-old, he would be happy to remain at Leeds longer, a sentiment which is hardly surprising given that he is both a fan of the Whites and a product of the club’s academy.
Speaking on YouTuber KageyVision’s channel, Byram said: “I’d love to [stay here longer].
“Me and my partner are very settled. It’s home, family and friends. A huge club. I’d love to stay, you can never guess the future. Just got to keep playing and see what happens.”
Byram’s future dependent on promotion
Whilst the idea of extending Byram’s deal is a romantic one which would surely appeal to supporters, the club need to make sure they think with their head and not their heart when considering where his future lies.
Byram has indeed impressed in the white of Leeds so far this term, but his history of repeated injury, as well as his relatively untried nature when it comes to playing in the Premier League, make it hard to justify a significant contract extension were the Whites to be successful in securing an immediate return to the top-flight this season.
Perhaps the best approach to dealing with Byram would be to see where Leeds find themselves come the summer. If they fail in their mission to achieve promotion this term, then retaining his services in the Championship appears to be a no-brainer.
If Leeds were to go up, however, then questions would need to be asked about what to do with the defender – a decision which would need to be made with rationality over sentiment in mind.