When you look at the right-hand side of Leeds’ defence, there aren’t really too many issues.
Luke Ayling has become one of the most reliable figures in the squad and nothing summed that up more than his virtuoso display against Leicester at the weekend.
When he’s injured or has to cover in the middle of defence, it’s Stuart Dallas who fills in. Again, he is a picture of consistency, winning their Player’s Player of the Year in 2019/20 for his displays at full-back.
With that in mind, it might be difficult to get into the team if you’re an outsider looking in. Certainly, that’s what young full-back Cody Drameh might be thinking.
The 19-year-old has been making waves at academy level this term but his performances should bring huge belief. Some of his outstanding displays for Mark Jackson’s U23s have been eye-catching to say the least.
Not since a young Sam Byram have we seen a young defender make such an impact at Elland Road. The right-back became a key part of the Championship side as a youngster before he was sold to West Ham in January 2016.
Byram was someone who was adept defensively but also loved to get forward. He had pace, energy and was confident.
Coincidentally, those are similar qualities that Drameh possesses. The teenager signed from Fulham in the summer but despite failing to work his way into Marcelo Bielsa’s first-team plans, a call-up surely won’t be too far away.
During the club’s 2-0 win over Sunderland U23s on Monday, Drameh was one of the best players on the park.
Leeds commentator Tom Hill called the youngster a “box of tricks” during the coverage of the match and it’s hard to argue with that statement. He constantly got down the right-hand channel and failed to lose much energy.
Writing at full-time, Leeds Live reporter Joe Donnohue said: “Down the right flank combining with Helder Costa, Drameh’s flicks, tricks and backheels were a welcome addition to his game. His constant running in behind meant Sunderland were pinned back on that side of the pitch, which contributed to Leeds’ complete dominance.”
Donnohue continued: “Drameh’s defensive game was called upon more often in the second half, but it was of a similar calibre to his first-half attacking.”
Byram may have kept things simpler than flicks and tricks but he still had an unrelenting ability to get forward. The two players are also similarly adept defensively.
Improving all the time, it will surely only be a matter of time before he’s involved in senior team life more often. He is a radiant ball of attacking fun and defensive nous. What’s not to like?