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McDermott: Byram keen on Leeds stay

Sam Byram wants to stay at Leeds United despite reported interest from Manchester City and Liverpool, according to manager Brian McDermott.

The 19-year-old burst onto the scene this season, making 53 appearances in all competitions, primarily at right-back.

The Leeds academy graduate kept the likes of Tottenham’s Gareth Bale and Manchester United’s Wilfried Zaha quiet during a stellar campaign that saw him land the club’s Player of the Year award.

Manchester City, West Brom and Cardiff City have closely monitored Byram’s progress this term, while Liverpool have also been linked with a move for the teenager.

However, Leeds boss McDermott said that Byram wants to remain at Elland Road and that his development will be best served by remaining at the club.

“Sam wants to be here next season and the club want him to be here next season,” McDermott told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“I’m absolutely certain of that. If someone does try to push him in a different direction then it won’t be the player or the club who are doing the pushing. I’m not concerned about it.

“For me, his development as a player will be so much better and quicker through regular football, and the games he’s had at Leeds have done him the power of good.

“You can see that he’s loving it and I feel very strongly that he’s in the right place. I know he thinks so too. Why would he want to go anywhere else?”

Byram was selected in England’s provisional 35-man squad for the upcoming FIFA Under-20 World Cup and is expected to make the final cut, while his Leeds team-mate and fellow defender Tom Lees will represent his country at the European Under-21 Championship next month.

Lees also enjoyed a terrific season for United and good performances from both could increase their chances of leaving Leeds.

But McDermott is not worried about Byram and Lees attracting further attention, instead urging them to go and play their best for their country.

“I never worry about that. I’ve had some good players before, some of whom attracted attention,” he said.

“Sam and Tom were desperate to go and play for their country and you can’t hold young lads back. It’s fantastic experience and I’m really pleased.

“They both deserve it and as far as their conditioning goes, it’ll be managed.”
Thu 23 May, 2013
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