SAM BYRAM looks set to end his time with Leeds United over the next few days after the club accepted bids from both West Ham and Everton.
He started his career at Leeds, progressing through the academy.
We have looked back on the significant moments throughout his life that have made him the player he is.
Byram plays for York City Schools after moving from Thurrock in Essex to the north. He is selected for the first game of the 2003 season for the Under-11s, which is abandoned after a wall collapses on a young spectator. Byram earns praise from the York Press, his first ever mention in a newspaper, for “working tirelessly in midfield” in the West Yorkshire Cup tie, which ends shortly after half-time with the scores at 2-2.
Officially joins Leeds United’s academy.
Signs a scholarship with Leeds at the age of 16. Interestingly, Byram plays in the Under-16s during his first year as a scholar, a year below his age level. “At first I took it as a negative when I played in the under-16s, but I realised it was to help me develop and give me game time which was important,” he said.
May 2, 2012
Byram is one of five players from the academy who are given professional deals by Leeds. He signs up for a year alongside Ross Killock, Simon Lenighan, Charlie Clamp and Dominic Poleon.
July 20, 2012
Features in the second-half of Leeds’ first pre-season friendly against Farsley at Throstle Nest. Impresses and is therefore taken on the club’s tour of the South West of England.
August 4, 2012
Byram plays in the pre-season friendly against Preston and scores his first ever goal at first-team level as Leeds win 3-1. The reaction from fans after Byram’s display suggests Leeds may have a young player of some note on their hands.
August 11, 2012
Injuries mean Byram starts the first game of the season proper against Shrewsbury Town in the League Cup. “Tom (Lees) got injured and I was told on the Friday I would be playing,” he explained.
“I was nervous all night and in the morning, but once I got in the tunnel I was alright.”
August 18, 2012
Byram retains his place in the first team for the game against Wolverhampton Wanderers, which Leeds win 1-0. The right-back looks entirely unphased against Matt Jarvis and essentially locks down a position in the first team.
August 20, 2012
Signs a new three-year deal with Leeds only two days after his first league start and less than four months after agreeing his first professional deal. “I’m delighted. I didn’t expect anything like this at all when we started back six or seven weeks ago.”
August 28, 2012
Scores his first ever professional goal in competitive action against Oxford United in the League Cup second round. It’s a stunner. Byram gathers the ball outside the area, beats two defenders before chipping the goalkeeper. Manager Neil Warnock said: “Sam will probably never score another goal like that in his career.”
January 26, 2013
Byram signs another new contract to extend his stay until 2016. His salary is reported to increase to around £12,000-per-week, an issue when Leeds sought to extend his deal again.
April 26, 2013
Byram wins the Yorkshire Evening Post Player of the Season award with a staggering 99 per cent of the vote after 42 successive league starts. Linked with moves to West Bromwich Albion, Cardiff City and Manchester City for around £8 million.
The then-19-year-old is unfussed: “It’s nice to hear that Premier League clubs are interested in me, just because it shows that I’m doing a good job here, but personally I’ve really enjoyed playing at Elland Road.”
A day later he caps off his first season by picking up the club’s Player of the Year award, Young Player of the Year award, Players’ Player of the Year award and the Supporters’ Club Player of the Year award.
A hip injury keeps Byram out of the Under-20s World Cup. Returns to the first team on September 21, 2013, but only features 27 times all campaign with the injury causing him problems.
August 9, 2014
Southampton confirm they have had a £4.5 million bid for Byram rejected.
Featuring regularly under Neil Redfearn, Byram is moved forward to the right-wing and impresses in his new attacking role.
January 31, 2015
Byram scores his fourth goal for Leeds against fierce West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town to give the Whites a 2-1 win.
February 10, 2015
The right-winger scores at the death of a 2-0 away win against Reading to secure a vital three points for Leeds.
March 18, 2015
Continues to show his eye for a strike with another headed goal in the 3-0 victory against Fulham.
April 9, 2015
With rumours circulating about their departures, Redfearn calls on the club to keep hold of Byram, Lewis Cook, Charlie Taylor and Alex Mowatt. He said: “If we mean business we’ll keep them.”
July 31, 2015
Everton are circling Byram, which causes head coach Uwe Rosler to dismiss suggestions he might move. Rosler told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “He’s under contract, he has a manager who really believes in him and he has a chairman (Massimo Cellino) who really believes in him. He’s found his home.”
September 22, 2015
Italian owner Massimo Cellino announces that Byram has rejected a new deal at Leeds. He says: “He didn’t sign the new contract and he won’t sign it anymore. He’s been offered a contract a few times, he didn’t want to sign and I am deeply offended.” On the same day, the Yorkshire Evening Post exclusively reveals that talks before Christmas 2014 had seen the club offer Byram a reduction in his weekly wage, which caused a falling out between his agent and Cellino.
December 5, 2015
Byram turns down a further offer which is a one-year extension with his wage remaining the same. An offer that had to be made if Leeds wanted to guarantee compensation in the summer if Byram moved after his contract expired.
December 17, 2015
Restored to the starting line-up after a long absence, Byram scores twice as Leeds beat Wolves 3-2. A brilliant display from the 22-year-old, who flourishes in an attacking role.
December 27, 2015
Byram saves the day as he scores a perfectly placed goal from the edge of the area to earn a 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest.
January 12, 2016
Plays what will proved to be his last game for Leeds United in a 2-1 defeat at Ipswich Town.
January 14, 2016
Everton have a £3.7 million bid for Byram accepted.
January 16, 2016
Byram misses Leeds United’s 2-0 defeat against Sheffield Wednesday.
January 17, 2016
Has a medical at Everton.
January 18, 2016
Byram trains with Leeds amid speculation that he has agreed personal terms with Everton.
Those reports are revealed to be false after Cellino says Byram will join West Ham, despite the Hammers offering less than Everton’s £3.7m.
The Italian owner said: “Yes, West Ham is less.” Other sources at the club suggest the bids are exactly the same.