Leeds United signing released West Brom star Chris Baird would have positive effect on three players

The versatility of Chris Baird will give Leeds United options, particularly with regard to young trio Sam Byram, Charlie Taylor and Lewis Cook.

Leeds United were over the weekend linked with a move to sign Northern Ireland international Chris Baird, by The Sun.

Premier League side West Brom then announced on their official website that the 33-year-old has been released, despite featuring in 24 games in all competitions for the Baggies this season.

As a free agent, Baird could be a shrewd addition for Leeds, due to his experience and versatility.

Leeds' youngsters received plenty of praise last season, but concerns remain over reliance on them and playing them too frequently over the course of a 46-game season. Rotation and rest is needed, and an old pro like Baird could provide invaluable guidance.

Three players stand to benefit particularly if Baird signs; Sam Byram, Charlie Taylor, and Lewis Cook.

Baird can play as a full-back on either flank, filling in for West Brom last season at both right-back and left-back. Not only could he rotate in for Byram or Taylor; he could play behind them and allow one of them to continue their development as midfielders, where they both played in the final months of last season.

Both players showed promising signs of developing, and despite the fact Leeds will surely sign wingers this summer, that surely does not end any hopes of the duo to compete for the positions.

The third player to benefit from Baird's potential arrival would be defensive midfielder Lewis Cook. His is a position Baird has played in frequently over the course of his career, especially at Fulham.

Cook is the player for who there would be the biggest burnout concern, and Baird is an ideal option. He is not a player who would stunt the development of the England youth international, but one whose presence could prevent him being over used, and over-exposed to the attentions of Premier League clubs.

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