Sam ByramMick Jones admitted it would be almost impossible for Leeds United to refuse a decent offer for teenage sensation Sam Byram if any of the Premier League’s biggest clubs came in for him this January.

Quizzed about speculation surrounding Luciano Becchio and Sam Byram, Jones said he wasn’t surprised by the interest but there was no pressure on Leeds United to sell key players.

19 year old Byram is believed to have caught the eye of Merseyside rivals Everton and Liverpool, so it was worrying to hear Jones list Liverpool as one of the clubs Leeds would struggle to resist an approach from;

“In a perfect world he’s going nowhere but I know football and it’s a pressurised industry. If Man United, Tottenham, Liverpool or Arsenal want Sam Byram then somehow they’ll get him. That’s something you’ve got to live with.”

While the top clubs continue to keep an eye on Sam Byram’s progress, Luciano Becchio is once again at the centre of transfer speculation, this time linking him with a £4m move to struggling Wigan Athletic.

Becchio is the club’s leading goalscorer this season and recently made the top ten list of all-time Leeds United goalscorers, so it’s no surprise to see him catching the headlines. However, the rumour – which originated in the Mirror late December – is merely the latest in a long line linking Luciano Becchio with a move away from Elland Road.

Considering how effective the Argentinian has been this season and how important he is to the way in which Neil Warnock has Leeds United playing, I sincerely doubt the club will be entertaining offers for him. The only real concern this January is the potential departure of yet another young star.

How did you interpret Mick Jones’ comments – was it an open invitation to make Leeds United an offer for a player they’re already resigned to losing? Or was it something more innocent, perhaps an Assistant Manager revealing his January fears? Let us know below… 

32 Responses

    • TSS

      That’s the joy of being a Championship club (or any club outside the top 4 for that matter), your best players will always jump at such chances.

      • upnorthleeds

        When Leeds were in the second division under Don Revie, he guarded his young talent jealously from other clubs, which is why he was able to eventually build his succesful side. We need to show the same ambition again if we are to go anywhere in this world. We need to become arrogant and push other clubs around, not allow ourselves to be pushed around and our players to be picked off

      • TSS

        Different era mate, money wasn’t so much of a factor back then. There wasn’t such a giant gulf between the turnover of the biggest clubs and those lower down.

      • Matthew

        You’re right there. Not much the club can do if someone with money offers Byram 30 grand a week to play for them, such as Liverpool or Manchester United, seeing as they will quite happily pay 100 grand for their best players a week in wages.

        30 grand a week for example at Liverpool and Premier League football vs 5 grand and Championship. lol

      • upnorthleeds

        It is a different era, but it is still the same principle, Leeds were able to become successful under Don Revie because he engendered a self belief and an arrogance that Leeds weren’t a second division club, but a ‘Real Madrid’. Before Revie became manager we had sold our biggest star John Charles to Juventus and plummeted back to the second division, but after he took over we did not sell a star player again until 1978 when Jordan and Mcqueen went to Man Unt. If Leeds are to become successful again we need to have that same self belief and arrogance again, we need to lose the tag of being a selling club and show some resolve and self respect, do everything to keep hold of these players

  1. Ron

    A tad harsh on Mick Jones. We all know the reality if Byram is indeed top-class. My issue with Leeds has always been the failure to re-invest the transfer money into 2-3 quality players straight away. If we are going to sell Byram, let’s get it down early, so we have a fighting chance before the window closes. Obviously, let’s hope he stays!

    • Irving08

      Ron, Under no circumstances should we sell Byram. We need to plan for the future, when Warnock has gone, and most of his signings from outside – excepting Pearce and possibly Peltier/Austin – have come to the end of their contracts (though we should aim to offload them before then). And this future will be made from the likes of Byram, Lees, Taylor, Dawson, White etc….with a mature McCormack (is there anyone else ?) to help bring them to the boil……Unrealistic ? ….possibly, yet not less so than any of the alternatives.

      • Ron

        Well unfortunately, if we get a decent bid for Byram, I would bet my gonads that we sell him. Only a handful of players have ever been huge reasons why their team goes up, the last player I could recall was probably Taraabt at QPR when they were promoted. Unless Byram starts banging them in like Bale, a good bid is going to be too much for Bates, sorry GFH, to refuse. A 30 goal striker at this level must be kept, but everyone else is for sale I imagine.Trust me, I would love nothing more than for us to keep Byram and make the PL with him, but with Bates still in the picture, watch this space.

      • henrymouni

        Totally agree Irv!
        If they sell our best (under contract) players it will drive more fans away, and all this ‘listening to the fans’ will be seen for what it is.

  2. number1inyorkshire

    The fact is that lower league clubs in fact all clubs outside the regular top 10 are potential feeder clubs for the ” bigger ” clubs.
    it is though now time for leeds united under new owners to start the building for the next couple of years to move forward .
    keeping the players we have tells me more about the state of the finances of the club under GFH than going out and buying new players does .
    It depends too a little on the player wanting to leave but with Becchio and Byram who have longish deals its about leeds saying hold on you signed a deal we are keeping you and by the way you are staying.
    Byram has a big future i personally think becchio is playing at the top of his game and is not a 30+ games player in the prem, we only have to look at some players who have tried and failed miserably trying

    • Irving08

      Good to see you are back Numbe One. Have you got that Pavilion contract yet ?

      You are right, albeit with one qualification: many of the Warnock recruits – particularly in midfield – as well as the Danny Pughs (poor Dannny) have somehow to be offloaded, if we are to go forward, as you suggest.

      • number1inyorkshire

        thanks irving i have been building my empire, though sadly not the pavilion which is by all views on the accounts massive white elebob and real thorn in the financial matters at leeds .
        we need to have a massive clear out as you suggest do it now ,get new players in for the rest of the season with a real push next season .
        we need too i feel get warnock to either commit to next season or jump now if the head henchoz won’t commit how will he convince others .
        if we don,t go up he will leave then the next manager has someone else’s players the whole thing needs some impetus .
        The pavilion needs to be turned into a bingo hall lol

      • Irving08

        ‘Pav is a bit of a puzzle. It’s packed out on match days and 3.50 a pint is not small change. The tables always seem to be laid for one ‘do or another too. Folk even get married there. Staff costs ?

        I just hope these new fellows have a brain between them.

  3. Derbyshire White

    Is this a PR exercise to soften us up for the fact that we won’t be bringing in any real quality in January? Keeping hold of Byram and Becchio will be lauded as a great result in the face of pressures to sell to mighty Liverpool. Almost like having two new players really.

    • Matthew

      I want him to stay too. I wouldn’t blame Byram at all though if his head gets turned by the lure of playing for a team in a much better position as us.

      As long as the money is fully invested in the side, I would wish him well and the best in his future career and hope the lad gets the Senior England call up he deserves.

  4. Craig

    I read his comments simply as the thoughts of a junior management bod who hasn’t been trained in the art of deflecting questions.

  5. Lincswhite

    LUFC should be looking to buy Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro from Tranmere Rovers

  6. Dr Zen

    No. We should resist it fiercely. We should not sell yet another young talent for peanuts. Surely we don’t have to?

  7. Phil92

    Agree with Ron, if we have to let them go and get 4 mil for Becchio and 6 mil for Byram then so be it. But let’s not squirrel the money away, go out and get 5 or 6 quality players with the cash to give us a chance at getting up. Blackstock for 750k and Alan Tate for 250k would not be adequate replacements.

    • Michael Lazarou

      Quality players want quality wages why do you think are best players leave, and why sell are best players if we can’t afford to keep are best players then how can we get good quality players to want to come to leeds, if inthe first place they leave for better deals

  8. Yorkshirian

    I just read this on YEP and thought – this is either pretty naive or else they have decided to try and cash-in.
    Maybe they want the money so they can fund a loss-making TV channel.

  9. Bez

    simple case of building enough propaganda to hoodwink fans into believing that success in the window = not selling any players, as opposed to success in the window =buying some ££ worthy talent, something we were led to believe before December came along…

  10. Sunnyleeds

    IMHO selling is pure shortsightedness.

    Continuing to sell of what’s left of our silverware would only mean that the club could continue to function as an entity this year by leveling its books, but it will give the final blow to fan confidence . Considering that we need players in and not out, and loyal fans have been promised investment in the team years ago, selling will only lead to further down spiralling of crowds. We have already seen a crowd of just 11,000 against Birmingham. The only way out of this situation is investment.

    Another thing. If the club has a debt of 20 million if promoted as the LUST has concluded, how much does the club has cost GFH considering that they have paid Bates 52 million plus, a sum which excludes Elland Road and Thorp Arch. Isn’t it obvious that the club has been sucked dry from every penny by Bates, after we had to endure administration?

  11. Sunnyleeds

    Becchio is worth more than Jordan Rhodes who was sold for 8 million earlier this season even though he was a League One player. So if Leeds are really not after money to balance their books, or just to be able to fund two or three players because they are starved of cash, they should only entertain offers for Becchio that are higher than 10 million.

    • Joe B

      Rhodes has resale value and is English. Becchio is 29. Honestly, I like Becchio and appreciate what he’s done for us, but if a prem club genuinely thinks he’s worth 4/5m, we should sell, because he’s not shown anything in his long career that suggests he is!

      My only condition about selling is that if we did sell we’d need to have at least half of the money reinvested, or it would be a waste.

  12. mrbigwheels

    The next three weeks are certainly going to be very interesting, I’m sure. Definitely put up or shut up time for whoever owns Leeds. The fans will dictate whatever happens after that and I will personally lead the revolution if there is a negative cashflow to playing squad value at the end of it. Bates is smeared all over this one and I think Mick is just being honest and shocked at the lack of funds available… (imo). Hope I’m totally wrong with this.

  13. hampshire white

    That’s why Jones an assistant.
    he should leave the talking to Warnock and stop spreading disruptive shite through the media.

  14. Barry Harrison

    If this the way GFH are going what is the point of supporting them, Mick J has been told to say this because this is going to be the end product. Buy the Forest striker for £750,000 and sell Becchio for £4,000,000. Same with Lees and and holt and Byrom for who?

  15. bedford white

    jones needs to learn to keep his mouth shut. who in their right mind promotes the selling of the best players at the club? it looks like there is not only NW losing the plot does it.

  16. KP

    The end, if we continue to sell our decent players, the gate will will just go lower ,

    I thought we would be buying quality not selling what little we have

    I just see the same pattern selling the best and getting 34 year olds and crap in

    Nearly the end for me 40 year fan this is the last straw

  17. Joe B

    Byram’s contracted here for 3 years. If we’re going to sell him, we should wait 6 months, get a season out of him, and sell him then. i mean on this season’s performances he’s not going to get any cheaper…


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