Leeds United Byram row has potential to spill over into team selection decisions

Leeds United 2

Could the furore over Sam Byram at Leeds cause Uwe Rosler to be hesitant about picking him for the club?

Sam Byram was the homegrown darling of Leeds United, but this season it has begun to unravel.

He has been unable to agree terms on a new contract, and his form has suffered for it, with just one year left to run on his current deal.

This week club owner Massimo Cellino called him out, expressing his dismay with the player, with words which arguably reflect worse on the Italian than Byram himself, purely for making the details, as he sees it, public.

He told the The Yorkshire Evening Post: "Sam Byram is the only one that maybe thinks Leeds is too small for him.

“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."

Byram is clearly not in Massimo Cellino's good books, but with several months to play out before the transfer window re-opens, club and player must get along for the time being.

What there is now a real risk of, is the row between player and owner spilling into team selection.

It all depends on Rosler

If Byram does not feature this weekend, the reasons will be far from contract related. His form has taken a dip of late, and Gaetano Berardi fully deserves the right-back spot.

New signing Jordan Botaka deserves an opportunity on the right wing, while Will Buckley could also force Stuart Dallas onto the right hand side too.

Yet despite his apparent lack of confidence, Byram has still created more goalscoring chances than any other Leeds player this season, and is bound to have a role at some point, especially if he re-discovers his form.

With the alternatives available however, Massimo Cellino may prefer not to see Byram selected at all if he had it his way.

Head coach Uwe Rosler needs to be strong and make his own decisions and not be influenced, or afraid to upset the owner, even if it puts his own job at risk.

His confidence in doing so may depend on positive results on the pitch, but if Byram finds himself sidelined for the next couple of months, the question will be asked - is it Rosler's choice, or Cellino's?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch