Profit Players: Sam Byram

Profit Players: Sam Byram

West Ham supporters have been in fine voice in recent times after seeing their team record a second successive Premier League victory on Tuesday night.

Manuel Pellegrini’s men went into their meeting with lowly Cardiff City having beaten Newcastle United 3-0 on Saturday, thus giving them the opportunity to record back-to-back league wins for the first time since January 2017 when Neil Warnock’s Bluebirds visited the London Stadium. And the Hammers were able to do just that as a Lucas Perez brace as well as a Michail Antonio effort inspired the hosts to a 3-1 win on Tuesday night, a result which moved them nine points clear of the division’s relegation zone.

Thus, there have been many thrilled Hammers fans up and down the country, plenty of whom are hoping for even more from their side as the season goes on given how shrewd their club proved to be during the summer transfer window.

The club’s hierarchy were praised for some of the business they conducted, just as they were back in January 2016 when they sealed a £4.32 million deal (as per Transfermarkt) for Leeds United’s Sam Byram.

At the time, the 25-year-old was one of the hottest properties outside of the Premier League and looked destined for big things in the top-flight, yet it has become clearer by the day that Leeds have been the only victors from West Ham’s decision to land the right back.

Ultimately, Byram came up through the ranks at Elland Road and began to seriously prove his credentials in his latter years at the Yorkshire giants, most notably in the first half of the 2015/16 season in netting three times and laying on one assist in just 22 Championship appearances for Leeds.

As such, it was always likely that Byram would attract interest come the January window, with Slaven Bilic’s West Ham making the move for the 25-year-old in a bid to sort out their right back problems, clearly citing the Leeds man as the ideal man to fill that void.

And while Leeds fans would have been disappointed to lose Byram, they earned a very tidy £4.32 million profit from the 25-year-old’s services, which is proving to be money very well earned indeed given his struggles since leaving Elland Road.

Ultimately, Byram simply hasn’t proven to be the answer to West Ham’s right back woes, appearing just four times in the second half of the 2015/16 season in their rise to seventh place in the Premier League, before adding only 18 league appearances the campaign after in their debut season in the London Stadium.

In fact, the 25-year-old’s struggles were highlighted most when former boss Bilic went out and landed veteran right back Pablo Zabaleta in the summer of 2017 to replace the Englishman – that was a damning indictment of how unconvincing Byram was.

Ryan Fredericks’ arrival in the most recent summer window further underlined just how greatly Byram has failed to make the right spot his own, to the point that Pellegrini has since shipped him out on loan to Championship side Nottingham Forest, where he is also struggling for game time.

Thus, Leeds fans may well have been disappointed to see Byram leave little under three years ago, and West Ham fans may well have been excited at the 25-year-old joining their club, but it’s become pretty clear that Leeds have been the only victors from Bilic’s decision to land the right back.

West Ham and Leeds fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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