Sour grapes from Martinez over Leeds star Byram?

Date published: Friday 22nd January 2016 10:31

Roberto Martinez: Denied underachieving claims

Roberto Martinez says that Sam Byram was not the right player for Everton after the full-back chose to sign for West Ham United.

Everton made an initial £3.7m bid for the Leeds United defender but West Ham made a similar bid and the 22-year-old opted to move south to Upton Park.

The Everton offer with add-ons was believed to be worth more to the Championship club, but Byram rejected the offer from Goodison Park and signed a four-and-a-half-year deal with the Hammers.

But Everton boss Martinez has now claimed Byram was not the right man for the club, despite making the first move for him.

“I hadn’t told him his first team opportunities would be restricted. I haven’t got a crystal ball,” said Martinez.

“There’s always a correct path for any youngster to fulfil his potential – and players need to earn that opportunity.

“It wasn’t right to bring a young player in for the sake of it. And it wasn’t right for Sam.

“Sam’s situation was one that, like in so many occasions, we were the first to identify a good potential footballer in the Championship. We went through the correct procedures and developed a good relationship with Leeds United but at the end it wasn’t the right move for Sam and he wasn’t the right player for us with the squad we have. And that’s the end of the matter really.

“I’m pleased we were at the forefront of identifying a young player who has terrific potential but it wasn’t the right move for both parties.”

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