Leeds head coach Uwe Rosler has admitted Sam Byram’s form has suffered due to summer-long speculation over his future.
The 21-year-old full-back, used as a right forward by Rosler this season, is out of contract next summer and has so far failed to reach agreement with Leeds over a new deal.
“I talked about Sam before and I felt that with Sam, the rumours and continuous speculation didn’t help him,” Rosler said.
Byram turned down a new offer at the end of last year and a host of Premier League clubs, including Everton, Aston Villa and Newcastle, have been monitoring him, but his performances have been indifferent in the first five league matches.
Rosler is relieved the transfer window has closed without any official approaches so one of his star performers can now focus on his football.
“You can already see in the last two weeks that there’s an easiness around him now,” Rosler said.
“He knows he’ll be with us for the next year at least, hopefully for longer, but at least for the next year Leeds United will be his home.
“He knows the team welcome him to stay here and I very much welcome him to stay. But he also knows about his responsibility to keep improving.
“To be honest, the transfer window has affected him like it affects many other players who’ve been in similar situations at other clubs. We aren’t the only club who’ve faced that problem.
“Sam’s a good guy and he always dealt with it in a professional manner. He tried his best in the way he committed himself and the way he played.”