Deja vu: Cellino's Byram quotes are frighteningly similar to his views on Redfearn and McCormack

Neil Redfearn

The Leeds owner has been speaking about the 22-year-old - but fans may get a sense of deja vu.

Leeds United owner Massimo Cellino has recently spoken out about star man Sam Byram.

The 22-year-old is one of the Whites' most iconic youngsters and, heading into this season, caught the eye of many with some stellar performances at right-back and later right midfield.

This term, though, Byram's form has dipped somewhat and the fact he is yet to sign a new contract may well have something to do with it.

That failure to pen a new deal has also now got Cellino to talking.

And, on the 22-year-old, the Italian told Sky Sports: "He maybe thinks he deserves to be in a bigger team and a bigger club and maybe he's right. But when I hear that a player from Leeds, with his agent, that he thinks that Leeds is not big enough for him, that he wants something bigger, I felt really embarrassed.

"He didn't sign the new contract and he won't sign it anymore. He's been offered a contract a few times, he didn't want to sign and I am deeply offended.

"I need to fall in love with my players. They are like my kids and I don't want to let them go. Byram is one of those but we don't get on with the agent."

Whatever Cellino is trying to achieve, though, without passing comment on the success/morality of the tactic he is using, it's certainly not a brand new one.

Indeed, the Leeds owner has done this before.

Before parting company with former head coach Neil Redfearn, Cellino also painted the 50-year-old as the villain of the piece. A key similarity is an attack on Redfearn's advisor/agent.

The Italian told the Daily Mirror this summer: "Neil Redfearn does the (Leeds United fans’) salute. He challenged me. If you are good I can accept the challenge. But not if you are a bad coach.

“He wins two games and he disappears. He loses five games and he comes to me to ask my advice. Then he wins and disappears again.

"He has to respect the chairman. He has to respect the club. He’s like a baby. He’s been badly advised and used by someone. He is not a bad person but he has a weak personality.”

And that's not all, either. Remember Ross McCormack?

Once he left Leeds, the Scottish striker put into words how Cellino had managed to turn a number of fans against him. Is he now trying to do the exact same thing with Byram?

McCormack was quoted as saying by the Daily Express in 2014: "The conversations came out that the club didn't want me to leave. In fact, Cellino said you can leave but it's got to come across as you are initiating it.

"So there was a transfer request put in all for the benefit of the club, so they could come across in a good light to the fans.

"Unfortunately at the time the fans probably took sides with the owner. After a few things have come to light maybe they are turning a little bit."

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