Neil Redfearn, Leeds United’s first-team coach and development boss, has compared teenage right-back Sam Byram’s progression this season to that of a certain Gareth Bale.
Byram, a life-long Whites fan, has been an ever-present in the Leeds starting 11 this campaign, receiving unprecedented praise from teammates and supporters.
The 19-year-old recently completed a clean sweep of the club’s end of season awards, picking up players’ player of the year, player of the year, young player of the year and supporters’ player of the year.
Talking to the Yorksire Post, Redfearn said: “I don’t see that there’s a better right-back in the division. He has done tremendously well. He’s got unbelievable ability and so much scope.
“As well as his ability, he also has maturity, which belies his age. He loves training as much as playing and has so much energy and wants to be out there all the time.”
Bale picked up the PFA Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year Awards, as well as Football Writers’ Association player of the year last month, and Redfearn believes Byram has the right characteristics to reach similar heights.
“Looking at Sam, I remember Gareth Bale coming onto the scene and looking like something similar. I do think he’s got that sort of ability to go on and become that type of player. He is a tremendous young talent,” added Redfearn.
Premier League big boys Manchester City and Everton are reportedly courting the youngster ahead of a summer move, but the player hopes to stay in Yorkshire – citing his ‘number one goal’ as reaching the Premier League with his boyhood club.