'Fight for this team' - Leeds United man commits himself to another year in the Championship

-Credit: (Image: MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
-Credit: (Image: MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Fighting to return Leeds United to where they belong is the promise from Sam Byram after confirmation of his contract extension at Elland Road. The Whites published their retained list on Friday and the 30-year-old was at the top of the bill with news of his extra year in West Yorkshire.

Taking to Instagram after news of his extension, Byram said: “Absolutely delighted to extend my stay here for another year. I can’t wait to fight for this team again to help get the club back where we belong. See you all soon.”

Byram returned to Leeds last summer as a free agent. Given how little football he had played across the preceding seven years, there was some trepidation when he played as a trialist in the Monaco friendly at York City.

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After years of injury issues in United’s left-back position, the idea Daniel Farke would then take on someone in that role with such a dire medical record, was concerning. However, Byram impressed during pre-season, signed a one-year contract on the eve of the new season and surpassed many expectations.

Byram would start 16 of the first 20 league games last season and was right up there as one of Farke’s most dependable performers. Injuries would, unfortunately, rear their head from December, but he eventually ended the year with 33 league outings, triggering a one-year extension in the process.

A lack of experience was cited as one of the problems Farke saw in last season’s squad. In retaining Byram, the manager has kept on one of the few 30-somethings from last year’s roster.

Karl Darlow remains the oldest player on the books, but Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas’s exits, along with the doubt around Liam Cooper, means Byram could be the second-oldest head come July 1. It remains to be seen what extra experience Farke pursues in the transfer window, but the full-back will be a wise voice in next season’s dressing room.