New signing means a delicate balancing act for Leeds United over Sam Byram

Leeds United

Dropping Sam Byram is one option available to Leeds United to accommodate Jordan Botaka.

Leeds United could hand a debut this weekend to new signing Jordan Botaka, with fans keen to see the exciting winger in action.

The most obvious option to accommodate Botaka, if they are to play him in his preferred position on the right wing would be to drop highly rated youngster Sam Byram.

Byram has struggled early on this season despite his good pre-season form, and taking him out of action for a breather is a possibility.

Of course conversely he has just had a rest during the international break, while Botaka is returning from a flight to Africa for an international fixture for DR Congo, and while he gets up to speed he could make his debut from Brentford from the bench rather than a starter.

Yet make no mistake the pressure on Byram is on, and he will have to step his game up to retain his place on the wing.

Even moving him back to right-back is an uncertainty with Gaetano Berardi impressing early on this season, with Leeds unbeaten after five league games.

Byram and Botaka will likely get an even chance as Uwe Rosler seeks to rotate his options, but the club do have a delicate balancing act on their hands due to the former's expiring contract.

Rosler will not be held ransom to picking Byram just to keep him happy, but he must also juggle this approach with being careful not to frustrate him to the point he feels his future lies away from Elland Road.

Byram is a player who is highly regarded by Premier League sides, with The Guardian reporting this summer that Everton, Sunderland and Newcastle United were keen. Too much time on the bench could really make him wonder about walking away with Premier League football likely on offer at the end of the season.

A further option to play both Botaka and Byram on the wings would be to switch the former Excelsior man to the left in place of Stuart Dallas, but this would be more as a stop-gap to give the Northern Irishman a rest, rather than a permanent solution.

It is unclear what Byram really wants, given he is yet to commit his future to the club, and Leeds will not want to do anything to alienate him, but with competition for places increasing he now needs to lift his level of performance to demand a week in week out starting spot.

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