West Ham dealt blow with star absent until mid-March

Sam Byram will be unavailable for the Hammers next three matches due to a combination of suspension and ineligibility.

West Ham United will have to cope without January signing Sam Byram until mid-March with the young defender ruled out of the club's next three matches, as reported by the Evening Standard.

The 22-year-old, who joined the club from Leeds United last month, has featured four times for the Hammers since his arrival, including starting the last two Premier League matches at right-back.

However, he has been booked in three of those four appearances, and with his latest yellow card being his 10th of the season, he has now activated an automatic two-match ban.

This will see him miss Wednesday's London derby with title-chasing Tottenham Hotspur at Upton Park on Wednesday night, as well as the trip to face Everton at Goodison Park next weekend.

The youngster will also miss the chance to play in the Hammers' FA Cup quarter-final at Old Trafford against Manchester United the following weekend, as he is cup-tied after appearing in the 2-0 win over Rotherham United in the third round is his penultimate game for the Whites.

Byram will therefore only be eligible to return to action for the trip to Stamford Bridge on 19 March, which will allow other members of Slaven Bilic's squad to stake their claim to the right-back position.

The former Leeds man has been tipped as a star of the future for West Ham after choosing to move to Upton Park ahead of a switch to Everton.

He scored 10 goals in 143 matches for the Elland Road side in three-and-a-half seasons with the club before making the step up to the Premier League.

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