Everyone associated with Leeds knows that sustainability comes from leveraging the academy. If we wanted to buy a player of Lewis Cook’s ability – well, let’s be honest, we couldn’t afford to. Yet there’s a troubling situation surrounding our prized possessions.

The problem is when players get within 12 months of their contract ending the club suddenly has almost zero negotiating power. When you get to that final year it’s easy for agents to make bigger demands in lieu of Premiership interest, or indeed bide their time to leave at the end of their deal. Unfortunately Leeds has a habit of allowing key players contracts to wind down and this situation with Sam Byram is not one I expect to be unique.

Lewis Cook – contract ends Summer 2017

Alex Mowatt – contract ends Summer 2017

Charlie Taylor – contract ends Summer 2017

Kalvin Phillips – contract ends Summer 2017

Liam Cooper – contract ends Summer 2017

So there’s a very real chance that we might start the 2017/18 season without any of the above (if not before). Unless we deal with contracts for these players ahead of Summer 2016, we’ll then be in a much weaker position. Word is that Sam was only offered a contract so that when he opts to leave we can get money via a tribunal (something you can’t if you weren’t seen to make an effort to retain the player).

Murphy, however is contracted to 2019 while Bianchi is 2018. It does make you wonder the priorities of the club sometimes doesn’t it?

At least our sweet Prince Gaetano is contracted until 2018 so it’s not all tense.