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Could Leeds be willing to give former starlet Sam Byram a lifeline?

Defender is surplus to requirements at current club West Ham United

West Ham United v Crystal Palace - Premier League Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Reports out of West Ham United indicate that former Leeds United right-back Sam Byram could be on the move. The 24 year-old is seen as surplus to requirements by new manager Manuel Pellegrini after a tough few years at the East London club. He made a total of 10 senior appearances for West Ham last season, with only five Premier League appearances, and only two of those as a starter.

Byram never really fit into the plans of either Slaven Bilic or David Moyes, and was frequently left on the bench or out of the matchday 18 when he was fit. Byram was also unlucky with injuries during his spell at West Ham, and whenever he did regain fitness, it was often a struggle for him to get back into the side.

ExWHUemployee, a reliable source for everything West Ham, has said that Leeds are one of a number of clubs looking to bring in Byram on either a loan deal or permanent signing. Byram left Leeds in January of 2016 for the comically low price of £3.7 million. Nottingham Forest are also reportedly interested in him.

So will Leeds throw their Academy player a lifeline and bring him back to Elland Road? Byram has never really fit into the plans of West Ham, but his offensive ability has never been in question. He was dropped by Bilic, and eventually replaced by Pablo Zabaleta, because of his defensive liabilities. Byram isn’t good enough to play as a right-back in the Premier League without cover, and West Ham’s defence was never mobile or good enough to provide cover to their fullbacks.

However, Byram would be an ideal player as a outside wing-back in Bielsa’s favoured 3-3-1-3 formation. He’s brilliant at going forward, and with someone like Luke Ayling playing behind him as right-sided CB, he’d have the defensive cover to bomb forward and provide crosses and through-balls to the forwards. He’d be an upgrade at RWB to Lewie Coyle, as Bryam has already proven his ability at the Championship level. This deal makes too much sense to not happen.