Former Leeds United boss Neil Warnock has given Crystal Palace a briefing on Sam Byram.
Recent reports have suggested Palace are in the hunt to sign the Leeds star with a fee of £2.5-3 million being thrown around in the written press.
Ian Holloway’s team have been given the lowdown on the player and he now has a big decision to make over whether he wants to play a lot in the Championship next season or a few times in the Premier League.
Byram is a very important defender for Leeds, which is emphasised by the fact he played 42 games in the Championship for them last season and that importance is a reason Brian McDermott is rightfully being so protective over his star man.
“He’s not just a talent, he works his socks off and wants to get better. He needs to be playing games for us and developing his career with us,” McDermott told TalkSport.
Byram is certainly more likely to get a more consistent run of games where he is because he’s proved how important he can be for Leeds United.
If Leeds are to have any hope of mounting a serious push for promotion to the Premier League next season, they need to retain players like this and give them the chance to influence the side over a long season.
The trick for Byram is going to be repeating the form and consistency he showed last season, which will be much easier in the slightly lower standard of Championship football.
The problem they have is that Palace are in a position of power in the respect that they are the Premier League side at the moment.
They are likely to prey on Leeds’ Championship status to try and put doubt into Byram’s mind that he can make that step up with his current side.
It’s a classic case of does he hold out for promotion with Leeds or does he take the Premier League opportunity which is available?
Palace are also now in a position of power from a financial point of view, because they can use their new found Premier League wealth to push through a fee for Byram and any person terms he may require.
Those terms are likely to be better than what he’s already on at Leeds and Palace have the ability to make him a very wealthy young man as he heads into his early 20s.
It’s all about opportunity and McDermott rightly points out that there have been plenty of examples in the recent past where players have gone to the Premier League too early, ultimately denting their development and their careers.
Leeds have a great chance of hanging onto him and need to trust in the young man that he’s sensible enough to listen to his current boss rather than be drawn in by temptation.
What do you think will happen with Byram? What do you think about Warnock sticking his nose in?
image: © Chris Robertshaw