Leeds United supporters have been more upbeat in recent times after seeing their side bounce back and clinch victory in the Championship on Tuesday night.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men went into their clash with lowly Hull City having drawn one and lost the other of their previous two league games, and thus seeking a response at the KCOM Stadium earlier in the week. And the Whites did indeed get back to winning ways as a Tyler Roberts strike six minutes into the second half sealed a narrow 1-0 success for the Yorkshire giants, a result which moved them back to the summit of the Championship table.
Consequently, there have been many thrilled Leeds fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are hoping their side will get even better as the season goes on given some of their summer signings haven’t really got going yet.
And this summer saw the Whites retain some of their most prized assets, yet that wasn’t the case back in January 2016, as Sam Byram left the club to join West Ham in a £4.32 million deal (as per Transfermarkt).
And while his exit seemed to hurt Leeds fans at the time, given how good he was for them in the years earlier, his struggles since then suggest that the club’s hierarchy pulled off something of a masterstroke in making a £4.32 million profit on the 25-year-old.
Ultimately, Byram came up through the youth ranks at Elland Road to make his senior debut for the club back in 2012, from which he then added a further 142 appearances for the Yorkshire heavyweights, netting ten goals and laying on 12 assists along the way.
And while those numbers aren’t pulling up any trees, the fact that he played much of his time at the club at right back suggests that he was a great attacking threat down that side for Leeds, earning five assists in his first season at Championship level in 2012/13, and adding three more to that tally in each of his subsequent two campaigns at the club.
And with three goals and an assist at the start of the 2015/16 campaign for the Whites, Byram looked set to go on and play a crucial part in their success that season, which is why it hurt some Leeds fans to see one of their own make the move to West Ham in January 2016.
Yet things simply haven’t worked out for the 25-year-old at the London Stadium, as the Englishman was brought in to be the club’s next long-term right back, only to muster a mere 36 appearances for the Hammers, to the point that Pablo Zabaleta and Ryan Fredericks have since been signed for that position.
In fact, Byram is so low down the pecking order that he was shipped out on loan to Championship side Nottingham Forest at the start of this season, where he has again struggled to feature – ultimately, things have been tough for the right back ever since leaving Leeds.
And while there is little doubting that some Leeds fans were sad to see him leave in 2016, the fact their club made a £4.32 million profit on the 25-year-old, having seen him come up through the youth ranks, has proven to be a masterstroke given how much he has since struggled.
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