Leeds United are closing in on a deal to sign Daniel James permanently from Manchester United.
Daniel James, 23, almost moved to Elland Road two years ago from Championship outfit Swansea City before the deal fell apart. But with the signing of Jadon Sancho and the imminent return of Cristiano Ronaldo to Old Trafford, the Welsh winger has fallen down the pecking order under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The 23-year-old signed for Manchester United from Swansea City in the summer of 2019 and has made 50 Premier League appearances, netting six goals. He has been used sparingly by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and managed only 26 games across all competitions last term. The Red Devils are set to demand a fee in the region of £20m for James, who has another three years left on his contract.
Meanwhile, Leeds United have enjoyed a slow start to the new Premier League season, amassing only two points from the opening three games. They have done well to bounce back from the 5-1 humiliation at the hands of Manchester United at Old Trafford in the opening weekend but still remain in the hunt for their first win of the season.
Leeds United need a bigger and better squad to challenge for a top 10 finish
The Peacocks were really good last season following their promotion from the Championship, finishing an impressive ninth on the table. Leeds operate in a unique style under the highly demanding Marcelo Bielsa and considering their rip-roaring, attacking and counter-pressing brand of football, they did extremely well to finish in the top half of the table with a small squad.
The West Yorkshire giants have already roped in Junior Firpo and signed Jack Harrison permanently from Manchester City so far this summer. However, Bielsa’s club aren’t done with their business just yet, with quite a few players across the continent still linked. They clearly need a bigger and better squad to enjoy another successful season in the English top-flight, with teams around them having made some quality signings.
Daniel James would be a terrific addition to the Whites’ wide department
Having farmed Ian Poveda out on loan to Championship club Blackburn Rovers, the Whites’ options in the wide department have become limited. To put things into perspective, the lack of depth in wide areas at Elland Road has been well-documented and the acquisition of Daniel James could possibly go a long way towards boosting Bielsa’s attack this season.
A speedy, direct and energetic winger, James is equally comfortable playing on both flanks and creating opportunities for his teammates. The Welsh international is difficult to mark on the wing as his pace and trickery allow him to get out of tight spaces with ease. What makes the 23-year-old an attractive option is his willingness to also put a shift defensively. The former Swansea attacker is happy to fall back and provide cover for his full-back, whilst also being a real threat in transitions.
James will not only push the likes of Harrison, Raphinha and Helder Costa for a place in the first team but will also allow Bielsa to try out different systems against different teams. With Manchester United valuing him around £20m and Bielsa always been a fan of the Welshman, this deal could turn out to be a good one for all parties involved.
I am Rohan Sengupta from one of the busiest cities in India, Mumbai. A Journalism graduate with a keen interest in sports, football is something I simply cannot live without and writing, discussing and analyzing the game is what I do 24*7.