Canaries sign former Leeds favourite from West Ham on permanent deal
- Credit: Norwich CIty FC
Norwich City’s fourth summer signing has been revealed, with former Leeds United right-back Sam Byram making a permanent switch from West Ham.
The Canaries were expected to bring in competition for young star Max Aarons at right full-back ahead of their Premier League return and the 25-year-old arrives at a helpful point of pre-season.
Ivo Pinto was released at the end of the previous campaign and returned to Dinamo Zagreb, while Felix Passlack returned to Borussia Dortmund after an unsuccessful loan and has since joined Dutch side Fortuna Sittard.
That left City without cover for England Under-19 international Aarons, with Louis Thompson starting at right-back on Sunday, only to limp off after 20 minutes of a 2-2 friendly draw with Arminia Bielefeld in Germany with a hamstring strain.
Byram has signed a four-year contract with the Canaries and sources close to West Ham suggest an initial fee of just £750,000 has been paid as he only had a year remaining on his contract and that the Hammers were keen to shift the defender's reported £25,000-a-week wages.
It's unlikely the former Leeds defender will be retaining wages quite as high with the Canaries but the move offers the chance to get his career back on track.
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Byram told City's official website: "I'm delighted. It's all happened quite fast and it's been a quick turnaround. There's been a lot of travelling to get out here to Germany but I'm just pleased I'm here now.
"I heard about the interest a week or two ago. Obviously, I wasn't in the plans for West Ham going forward and I needed a new challenge to go out and push on after last season.
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"When I heard Norwich were interested, I was really interested (because of) how the manager (Daniel Farke) had the team playing last year.
"First and foremost, the football side of things (convinced me to sign). I watched a lot of them last season with the fluid football and passing style, it's obviously very attractive.
"Stuart (Webber) had explained where the club had come from when he joined two years ago and his plans going forward and how they're really trying to develop things. He sold the club to me."
Originally from Essex, Byram moved to Yorkshire as a child and was spotted by Leeds aged 11, joining the Whites on a scholarship at 17 before signing professional terms two years later.
The academy product was then given his senior debut by Neil Warnock aged 19 and went on to make 143 appearances, scoring 10 goals, and at the end of his first full campaign he swept the board in Leeds' end-of-season awards.
After an injury-hit 2013-14 season Byram got back to his best and won the Championship Player of the Month award in December 2015 before leaving for West Ham the following month in a deal worth around £4m, having been linked with Manchester City and Southampton in the past.
However, the next two-and-a-half seasons were affected by injuries and Byram leaves the Hammers having made just 36 appearances.
He went on loan to Nottingham Forest last season but suffered a serious knee injury after three matches and had to have surgery. He did return and make five Championship appearances at the end of 2018-19 though.
Byram, who has been given the squad number three, added of his fitness issues: "I had a nasty injury last year and it was nice to finish the season with a couple of games and then this feels like a new chapter, a fresh start.
"It's one I'm really excited about and I can't wait to get started. The Premier League is a massive step up from the Championship and I'm sure everyone who got the club to where it's at now, I'm sure they're all excited now.
"I've just come off the back of a ten-day fitness regime out in Switzerland. We were doing triple sessions so I'm at a good level at the minute.
"I don't think I'm match fit as yet but hopefully that will come in the following weeks. I'm definitely up for the hard work."
Byram had been in Switzerland with West Ham at the start of pre-season but was one of the players left out of the squad now in China for the Premier League Asia Trophy, prompting Hammers fans to speculate about an impending exit.
A permanent switch to City has now been sealed after a medical and the right-back has joined up with Daniel Farke's squad in Germany for the rest of this week's training camp.
The arrival follows the loan signings of goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann from Schalke and Manchester City winger Patrick Roberts following last season's Championship title success, with Switzerland international striker Josip Drmic also signed on a free transfer from Borussia Monchengladbach.