As inexplicable as it seems, Leeds United fans have long since got used to the sight of one of their best players starting match after match on the substitutes’ bench.
Sam Byram’s current contract may expire in the summer, with no sign of a new one being signed as things stand, but is that reason enough to overlook him in favour of Scott Wootton while Leeds struggle to build any consistency in the Championship?
With Byram playing just eight minutes in Leeds’ last four matches it seems unlikely anything will change in the short term, and if the 22-year-old is little more than decoration come match-day, a gesture rather than a realistic option for boss Steve Evans, why not drop him altogether and pick a player who does have a future at the club.
Of course the most sensible thing would be to play Byram, but if Evans continues not to the time has surely come to put young right-back Lewie Coyle on the bench instead.
Not all Leeds fans will agree, but let’s face it: Byram’s place on the bench is little more than the club cutting off their nose to spite their face, and the less he plays, the more one feels Coyle would benefit from taking his place.
We all know what Evans should do, but if he refuses to, perhaps it is time to drop Byram altogether and give another youngster the chance to impress, if only for a minute or two.