A very controversial decision, but three Leeds coaches all agreed over Sam Byram

Don Revie Statue

Three Leeds bosses have all now dropped Sam Byram for Scott Wootton.

Scott Wootton was once again named on the Leeds United teamsheet last night, with the decision met with sighs of confusion from supporters.

But last night against Cardiff City was the third time a head coach had picked him ahead of golden boy Sam Byram at right-back.

Steve Evans followed in the footsteps of Uwe Rosler and Neil Redfearn in making the decision - and it is a stinging evaluation of Byram's progress.

Wootton at this point is what he is. A solid professional who is never going to amount to a higher level than a Championship footballer, but works hard and is prone to the odd mistake.

Byram meanwhile has higher aspirations. He has been linked multiple times with Premier League clubs, and should be keeping Wootton out of the team easily.

The fact he cannot do so is worrying, and three different bosses have made that decision over him cannot be a coincidence. Redfearn's is the only one which can be put down to circumstance, with Byram playing on the wing, but if he was indispensable at right-back, that is where he would have remained.

Steve Evans felt the Leeds side lacked aggression against Blackburn Rovers a week ago, and Byram is a not a player who has that in his personality on the field. It is very possible that for this reason he was left out.

Byram has had a difficult year, moved into midfield by Redfearn to cover a shortcoming in the side, only to see Gaetano Berardi make a strong play for his right-back spot.

When Charlie Taylor returns from illness at left-back, Berardi should switch to right-back, leaving Byram as potentially third choice for the position, while in midfield Leeds now have enough options on the wing which has seen him fall down the pecking order there too.

One solution for Leeds is to cash in this January on Byram while they can, with his contract set to expire in the summer, and leaving him out of the side will not persuade him to remain, but if he really wants a future at Leeds then he needs to fight for it, and ensure this is the last time he allows Scott Wootton to deny him a first team place.

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