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The best thing about Wootton deal? It gets the best out of Sam Byram

The Leeds defender has been handed a new contract but he isn't the only beneficiary.

The news that Scott Wootton extended his Leeds United contract might not have pleased his critics.

Leeds flirted with the idea of offloading the 23-year-old earlier this season when they loaned him out to Rotherham.

But Wootton has won himself a first-team spot since returning from his spell away from Elland Road and was yesterday rewarded with a new deal.

Clearly, Neil Redfearn has tasted life both with and without Wootton and has decided he prefers the latter, with the young defender settling into the right-back position.

Wootton, however, isn't the only beneficiary of his new deal. Indeed, the 23-year-old's stay at Leeds will also help unleash Sam Byram.

  Final-Third EntriesChances CreatedSuccessful Final-Third PassesAppearancesMinutes Played
Tommaso Bianchi 187 14 202 24 1,965
Lewis Cook 177 32 203 30 2,322
Sam Byram 169 26 284 28 2,283
Rodolph Austin 151 20 188 24 1,776

As Opta stats show, 21-year-old Byram is one of Leeds' biggest attacking threats. This Championship season, he has entered the final third 169 times, created 26 chances and, most pertinently, completed more final-third passes than any of his team-mates.

And where Byram can showcase his talents best is at right wing, as opposed to having to balance the defensive duties associated with being a full-back, as well.

Now, with Wootton tied down to a long-term deal, Byram will know he has the license to go forward for good. Wootton can play in behind the 21-year-old and form part of a consistent back four (with the occasional swapping of Liam Cooper and Giuseppe Bellusci if all goes to plan for Redfearn).

With one star's new contract, then, Leeds have essentially given a clear signal to another in Byram - Leeds' new long-term right midfielder.

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