LEEDS United head coach Steve Evans has backed Sam Byram to become an instant first-team regular at Everton – and only wishes the right-back could have been granted his Premier League dreams at Elland Road.
Evans was keen to stress Byram’s transfer was still a long way off completion yesterday with the Glaswegian fully intending to field the 22-year-old against Sheffield Wednesday today.
Byram looks destined for the blue half of Merseyside with Leeds having accepted Everton’s offer of £3.7m for a player who had refused United’s overture of a new contract with his current deal up in the summer.
West Ham United and Newcastle United are also thought to be interested in gaining the defender’s signature and United’s head coach has no doubt Byram will make the grade at the highest level of English football, most likely at Everton.
“He’s been fantastic for me,” said Evans. “He’s the most humble young man and if we were challenging now for the Premier League do I think Sam would want to go? No I don’t. It’s all hypothetical, but if Leeds United are in the Premier League are you going to Everton? No way.
“But he wants to play in the Premier League and I think every young player should aspire to play in the best league they possibly can.
“If that means that he goes and plays in the Premier League now then we will wish him every success and in the event that he goes and plays in the Premier League then he will become a regular in the Premier League. Sam could play in Everton’s team tomorrow, no doubt.”
Assessing the chances of Byram playing for Leeds at Hillsborough, Evans added: “If nothing is concluded (with Everton) then I will seek instruction from the owner to see whether we can include him in our team.”