Does this young Championship star represent a smart move for West Ham?

Despite reigning over a rather strong looking squad throughout the course of the current campaign, Slaven Bilic is just like any other Premier League manager when it comes to strengthening his team across the January transfer window.

Every side currently operating in the Premier League could in-fact be bolstered with a selection of new winter additions this January, even if the mid-season transfer period invariably proves a lot less fruitful than its far more hectic counterpart in the summer.

So then, as Carl Jenkinson has seemingly lost his place among the starting XI at Upton Park this season, could 22-year-old Leeds right-back Sam Byram represent a decent acquisition for West Ham this January?

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As Everton have also seen their name linked with the promising young Englishman in the run up to the winter transfer window, Sam Byram is someone who could easily find himself playing in the Premier League far sooner than most initially expected.

The rapidly emerging Elland Road favourite, who has been coveted by a whole host of top sides throughout his career with Leeds United thus far, has recently drawn a great deal of praise for his sheer versatility along the right-flank.

Whether it be at right-back, right-midfield, or even up alongside the strikers in the right-wing position – this is a player who has certainly impressed a fair amount.

The 22-year-old Leeds man has also drawn rather muted comparisons with Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale this season, simply for his pace up and down the right wing and desire to take on opposing defenders. Whilst such an analysis may seem a tad premature, the immediate future looks somewhat promising for Sam Byram.

After all, West Ham shouldn’t be put off by signing players from the Championship, for it wasn’t long ago that Aaron Cresswell first signed at Upton Park on the back of his prior form for Ipswich Town. The Hammers left-back certainly didn’t take long to adjust to the Premier League last season, meaning Sam Byram could also take to the top-fligh with relative ease.

However, as Leeds United are apparently holding out for £8million for their star right-back this January, maybe Slaven Bilic would be better served in looking elsewhere if the Championship outfit refuse to drop their initial asking price. Although he certainly looks like a decent player at this stage, Byram arguably fails to represent an £8million player with all things considered.

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It seems Leeds United’s recent valuation is just another case of a young English player being vastly over-priced in the early stages of his career. The Hammers managed to sign Dimitri Payet for just a few million more than what Steve Evans’ side currently want for Byram – which seems a tad ridiculous.

West Ham do require a new right-back sooner rather than later, however, as although James Tomkins has certainly impressed when filling in at full-back this season, Bilic arguably needs to find someone better suited to the role this January.

Carl Jenkinson has fallen down the pecking order rather quickly as of late, and because Joey O’Brien is next in line for the Hammers should Bilic witness a further injury or two in the full-back department this season, something surely has to be done at Upton Park in order to give West Ham the best chance possible of finishing higher up the league table this term.

So, unless Leeds United eventually see fit to lower their current valuation of Byram before the closure of the January transfer window, maybe West Ham must cast their attention elsewhere this winter to avoid being considerably ripped off by the Championship outfit.