When West Ham signed Sam Byram, a young 22 year old right-back from Leeds United, a friend of mine said that we had a great buy there and that he is one who can really shine for us. With the form of Jenkinson when he was with us, Byram seemed like he would slot into the team no trouble at all. But that just has not happened.
Byram made his first team debut on the 23rd January against Manchester City and impressed fans with his attacking style of play. Then he was cup tied for the FA Cup and has not really featured again in the team. I was surprised to see he has actually made 4 league appearances for the Hammers and not just the one, which shows how little he has been used.
What is to blame for this? Well, Byram has had a history of injures in the past and he was injured for a time after signing for us (the old West Ham curse strikes again. However, I feel the main reason we are not seeing him is due to the form of Antonio playing as a right-back/winger. Antonio has evolved so well into the role, you almost forget West Ham need a regular right-back anymore, although that can be debated at times.
So what does the future hold for the young Englishman? Well as I stated earlier, the guy is only 22 so he has plenty of time left in his career to push on and prove himself, but will he be content with a place on the bench every week or would he rather be playing football week in, week out? This is a guy who made his first team debut with Leeds aged 19, and went on to feature in 143 for the Yorkshire club before his big money move. I feel that if West Ham sign a new right-back this summer, Byram will be allowed to go out on loan to further his skills as I feel he is too much of a prospect to be let go.