As you may be aware, the January transfer window is well and truly open and despite Chairman David Sullivan insisting West Ham do not have a penny to spend on wages, the Hammers are still linked with players to sign this month.
A bid of £7.4m for Besiktas winger Gokhan Tore has reportedly been knocked back by Slaven Bilic’s former employers, while the Hammers’ risk of losing striker Andy Carroll has been dismissed by Bilic, insisting the former Liverpool and Newcastle United man is staying at Upton Park.
However, one player who is being strongly linked with a move to the Boleyn Ground is Leeds United right back Sam Byram.
This 22-year-old full back has an extremely promising future ahead of him as other Premier League sides such as Newcastle, Sunderland and Everton have also been reportedly eyeing his services.
Nevertheless, despite the stiff competition, West Ham look like favourites to secure a deal for Byram considering he is out of contract in the summer and Leeds are desperate for a fee for the player.
So why would Byram chose West Ham over other suitors, and what will he bring to West Ham should he sign?
As a youngster who harbours ambitions of pulling on an England shirt, regular first team football in England’s top flight is exactly what Byram needs.
Although James Tomkins is performing solidly out of position at right back, the centre half position is where he belongs, while on-loan Arsenal full back Carl Jenkinson has failed to show the form and quality he showed in claret and blue last season, and with the Gunners quoting a staggering £15m for the player, Byram is a more suitable option for someone of the same calibre and age.
Despite having played for the Elland Road outfit since 2012 and joined them as a youth scholar in 2005, Byram is in fact ‘an Essex boy’. Born in Thurrock, Essex, which could give West Ham an added advantage in the race to sign him.
As well as showing good defensive qualities, Byram’s attacking prowess is something special.
In his three year stint at Leeds, Byram has accumulated a plethora of awards. Byram has won the 2012 goal of the year, the March 2013 player of the month, the 2012/2013 Yorkshire Evening post player of the year, the 2012/2013 Leeds United supporters player if the year, the 2012/2013 Leeds United players player of the year, the 2012/2013 Leeds United young player of the year and the 2012/2013 Leeds United fans player of the year. It’s safe to say the 2012/2013 season was Byram’s year.
Based on his fantastic attributes, both defensively and offensively, his occasional eye for goal, his eagerness to prove himself in the best league in the world and the opportunity to bring in a high quality right back with a bright future for a cut price fee is too good to turn down in January.
Once more, the possibility of another Englishman in claret and blue at the Olympic Stadium makes it that little bit sweeter.