HEAD coach Steve Evans has hinted that Sam Byram could play a big part in Leeds United’s Christmas schedule and has not yet abandoned hope that the 22-year-old might sign a new deal.
Byram is out of the contract next summer with the right-back having recently turned down United’s offer of a new deal with Evans admitting he will not field players who have no long-term desire to be at Leeds.
However, speaking at Wednesday morning’s Thorp Arch press conference ahead of Thursday’s trip to Wolves, Evans insisted he was “optimistic” that Byram would still commit his future to the club, at a time when Leeds are short of right backs in light of the recent injury to Gaetano Berardi.
Berardi, one of United’s players of the season so far, faces around eight weeks out with a a torn ankle ligament and Evans said: “If I think it’s right for Sam Byram to play I’ll pick him.
“I certainly won’t be phoning anybody and asking them.
“If I think it’s right for Sam Byram to be in the team he will be in the team.”
Asked if he would still recommend that Byram should be sold in January if not signing a new deal, Evans said: “That’s exactly the same and nothing has changed on that front. “That’s my decision.
“It will be up to the football club of course as to whether they could agree something with another club to do that.
“But I’m still an optimist, I always have been an optimist in my life and I’m hopeful that Sam will want to stay at Leeds United.
“I really do look from outside of the situation of the contract. I am not involved in it but I wonder where he’s going to go that is bigger and better than we are. I just don’t see it. I have very much got my Leeds United hat on.”