Leeds United have been dealt a late setback ahead of their Premier League meeting with Norwich City at Elland Road this weekend.
That’s according to a report by The Yorkshire Evening Post, who claim that Dean Smith is set to make a late call on whether Sam Bryam will be available for selection against the Whites on Sunday, as the former Leeds United full-back missed City’s 3-1 defeat to Chelsea in midweek due to fatigue.
Speaking about the current condition of the 28-year-old, Smith said: “We are going to have a look at him and we’re hopeful he will be okay.”
While Byram has far from been a first-team regular at Carrow Road this season, when taking into account how impressive the versatile right-back has been in his last two outings for Norwich, the news that the defender could be in line for a return against Leeds is sure to have left Jesse Marsch gutted.
Indeed, the £1.8m-rated dynamo was one of Smith’s standout performers in the narrow 2-1 FA Cup defeat to Liverpool at the start of the month, with Byram making three clearances, four interceptions, six tackles and blocking two shots over the course of the 90 minutes, as well as marking the red-hot Diogo Jota out of the game completely.
These returns saw the £16k-per-week defender earn an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.00 at Anfield, with only Ben Gibson receiving a higher rating than the former England youth international on the day.
Byram followed this performance up with yet another fine display in the 3-1 defeat to Brentford last weekend, making four tackles, one interception, one clearance and blocking one shot against the Bees, with these metrics seeing the full-back earn a SofaScore match rating of 6.8 – ranking him by far and away as City’s best defender in the match.
As such, should the 28-year-old indeed be deemed fit enough to feature at Elland Road, and Byram subsequently goes on to produce a performance similar to his last two outings, it would undoubtedly come as a huge blow to Leeds’ chances of picking up all three points against the Canaries – with anything but a win potentially being disastrous for the Whites’ survival hopes this season.