By Alex Stevens
Sam Byram is being played out of position by Leeds, according to the club’s former manager Brian McDermott.
The current Reading boss is convinced that the 22-year-old is a right-back and not a right-sided midfielder, the position in which he has played frequently in recent months.
McDermott was Byram’s manager for over a year and the first of Massimo Cellino’s six Leeds managerial appointments at Elland Road.
Byram has enjoyed recent success on the right of midfield but his former boss is adamant that his long-term future should lie within a back-four.
“You’ve got to give him a chance because he’s still quite inexperienced,” McDermott told Sky Sports. “It’s hard for him because he’s playing right-wing or wherever he’s playing and he’s a right-back. He wants to be a right-back and he needs to be judged as a right-back because he’s not a right-winger.”
Byram’s reputation is growing rapidly, and last week he was crowned the Championship PFA Fans’ Player of the Month for December, in which he scored three goals and grabbed an assist to help Leeds stay unbeaten during the month.
Manager Steve Evans has admitted that he is unsure whether the club’s prize asset, who is out of contract in the summer, will be at Elland Road beyond the end of the month.
West Ham lead the race to sign Byram, who has also attracted interest from Bournemouth, Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton.