Max Aarons has become the latest player to join Norwich City’s injury list this season. The crucial right-back suffered an ankle injury while playing for the England U-21s against Kosovo. He was seen sporting a protective boot, which is raising fears that the defender might be sidelined with a long-term injury.
Sam Byram is expected to deputise for the young England youth international in the right-back slot against Manchester City in the coming weekend. But, is he really up for the task?
A failed spell at West Ham
Byram joined from West Ham United this summer. He is not, however, coming with a growing reputation, having failed to make a mark in London during his three-year spell at West Ham.
In fact, the defender has made only 36 competitive appearances for the Hammers, half of which came in the league during his debut campaign at the London Stadium. The arrival of Pablo Zabaleta in 2017 drastically minimised Byram’s overall game-time as he was eventually sent to Nottingham Forest on loan last summer.
But, an unfortunate knee injury saw him miss out a chunk of the 2018/19 campaign as he ended up joining Norwich City as a backup for Aarons.
A bad start at the Carrow Road
Byram hasn’t had a healthy start to his life at Carrow Road, mainly due to an awful performance against Crawley Town in the second round of the Carabao Cup. The 25-year-old looked complacent at the club and allowed Reece Grego-Cox to infiltrate the right-flank.
He was later subbed off for Aarons, though in the very latter stages of the game. But either way, the performance ensured that Byram would remain the second-choice right-back at Norwich City this season. He is even yet to make a single appearance in the Premier League so far.
Will he succeed in the Man City test?
Considering Byram’s bad form going into this game, Daniel Farke will be desperately praying for the return of Aarons before his side meets defending champions Manchester City on Saturday.
As mentioned earlier, Byram looked complacent even against Crawley, and it’s unlikely that he will be able to stop the likes of Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez this weekend. It could, therefore, undoubtedly be a tricky task.
The key will be to defend deep and force the winger to operate in a more defensive role, thus providing Norwich with more solidity on the far side.
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