Neil Redfearn has admitted that Sam Byram has had to deal with a lot of pressure since moving into the senior line-up in 2012, insisting coaching errors have led to the Leeds youngster displaying inconsistent form after fielding interest from Premier League club.
Byram has struggled to maintain a starting spot in the line-up over the last season, despite impressing on his debut for the first team two years ago, and some have pointed to his hip injury as a turning point in his still-young career.
But Redfearn, who took over coaching duties at Leeds just last month but worked with the youth side for some time beforehand, believes that while Byram could be one of England's top defenders in the future, for now he is still a developing youngster like the rest of the players in the squad.
"We tend to forget about this with Sam," Redfearn said, according to the Yorkshire Post. "We see this full-back who's worth all this money, with all this interest in him, but we separate him from the other kids – which is wrong.
"He's still the same age as (Alex) Mowatt, (Lewis) Cook and (Chris) Dawson. He's still young.
"It's maybe one of those situations where we've taken it for granted that he's Sam Byram. We've lost sight of the fact that he's still young and still developing. Perhaps mentally he can't handle the tag of being this top young full-back yet and we probably haven't handled his development as well as it could have been handed. I'm talking about previous regimes.
"But he knows me, he understands me and he knows what I'm about. He knows that he's got my backing and confidence and he knows what I think about him as a player. Hopefully he can be a bit more relaxed."
The Post claimed that Leeds had placed a £8m valuation over Byram as clubs such as West Bromwich Albion and Cardiff showed interest in his signature.
At just 21 years of age he has been touted as one of Leeds' future leaders if he can keep up his top form, and while he has been up and down over the last year Redfearn has faith that with the right coaching the Englishman will become more consistent.
"It's been a stop-start season for him so far," Redfearn said, "but in essence he's still one of the best young full-backs in the country. He's had to force his way back into the side but he looked far more like himself on Tuesday (against Charlton, where Leeds drew 2-2) and when he's on form he's a real asset.
"He gives us a threat, that little extra dimension in the final third, and he's a major plus. He looked much more like the Sam Byram of old."