When Sam Byram left Leeds United he wasn’t even the first-choice right-back at the club. Everyone has an opinion and many are different on every player. Mine was that Byram wasn’t a Premier League player, he was a decent Championship right-back, but he was better in the midfield. There isn’t one right-back at this level you’d swap for Luke Ayling.
Sam Byram had made his decision a long time before he eventually left the club. Steve Evans was in charge and playing him on the wing, Byram had just one decision, where in the Premier League would he go?
His relationship with the club, particularly Massimo Cellino had broken down in public, the owner made a bad situation very bad and Leeds ended up getting a few million for a player whose heart was no longer in it, although he performed well towards the end.
Byram was a good player for Leeds, the way things ended made things seem a shame because once he broke into the side he was a regular. If he had of stayed and Garry Monk had the chance to coach him he could have become a much better player.
At West Ham he’s barely kicked a ball in two-and-a-half-years, at his age that’s a horrific situation, now it needs to get back on track and Nottingham Forest and Aitor Karanka are a good fit, but Leeds fans aren’t bothered this time.
Luke Ayling arrived around five months after the departure of Sam Byram and had quickly become one of the favourite players at the club and most consistent right-back outside of the Premier League. Ayling was signed for less than £1 million, a staggering piece of business from Garry Monk and Massimo Cellino for what they got.
A leader and a character on and off the pitch Ayling being a Leeds United player means a return of Byram to the Championship is just an excuse for Leeds fans to talk about their current right-back.