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Newcastle After Championship Ace

Despite Kinnear's prolonged inactivity as Director of Football making us all question whether the post serves any beneficial purpose, the Club continue to be linked with players that could fill the holes in a depleted squad.

The Daily Mail believe that the Magpies are interested in formidable Leeds United youngster Sam Byram, who imposed himself emphatically following a terrific 2012/13 campaign.

The 20 year old established himself as an integral part of the Leeds set-up during his inaugural Championship season, proving to be an industrious and reliable regular in the right back position. In fact, Byram’s efforts were rewarded in spectacular style when the Club awarded him the Player & Young Player of the Year awards, as well as Players’ & Supporters’ Player of the Year. Not bad for his first season in professional football.

Certainly, any possible interest expressed by the club in the right back shouldn’t come as a surprise. Following the release of Danny Simpson, the position may become an irritable hindrance if Debuchy were to be unavailable for a substantial amount of time. Searching for a back-up, or even competition, therefore, could prove to be a very shrewd move.

However, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Byram would come at a hefty sum given how quickly he’s growing as a footballer. An £8m move by Manchester City was tossed about during the summer, and Leeds are unlikely to let their stalwart go on the cheap with a promotion push under way.

Though I don’t doubt Byram’s potential to grow into a player good enough for the Premier League, I feel money would be better off spent elsewhere (that is, if Ashley can be bothered to spend any at all). The long-term future of Cabaye remains uncertain, and if Cisse continues to misfire frequently, the midfield and attack could rapidly become the priorities come the January transfer window.

The right back is a player I’d love to see at the Club, not to mention the opportunity to give the National Team a real gem to work with in order to revive our stuttering youth system. Additionally, it would be a shame if, after much deliberation and money spent, Byram ended up warming a bench for us. The rumour is an exciting one, but there should be others higher on our list. After all, too much enthusiasm will only force us to loathe Ashley & Kinnear’s indolence even more.

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