WELSH STAR DANIEL JAMES IS AT A CROSSROADS IN HIS CAREER WITH THE DOUBTERS GETTING LOUDER

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There was a sense of disbelief among the Leeds United hierarchy when Manchester United informed the club that they would be willing to sell Daniel James. This was, after all, a player that they had relentlessly chased for two years. Needless to say, Leeds hastily found the £25 million that the Red Devils required in order to release James, and just like that, the Welsh winger joined the West Yorkshire club on transfer deadline day at the end of August 2021.

Fast forward to May 2022 and it has, in many ways, been a season to forget for James and Leeds who have been staving off relegation since late winter. Indeed, the Whites have remained at the wrong end of the table and it goes without saying but if you look at the latest odds to win the Premier League, you won’t find any trace of Leeds, with Manchester City the firm favourites to win their fourth league title in five seasons.

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Daniel James has scored two goals in his last four games for Leeds.

vs Burnley

vs West Ham

vs Newcastle

vs Aston Villa

In Form

Of course, James isn’t to blame for the fact that around 50 points separate Leeds from the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City, but at the same time, his influence, or lack of in games has left a large majority of the Whites’ support unconvinced of his ability. All in all, the winger has chipped in with four goals and four assists over 33 Premier League games as of mid-May which is a modest return when you consider how many chances the 24-year-old has spurned. This was especially the case under recently sacked Whites boss Marcelo Bielsa whose footballing philosophy gave James the platform to regularly get in front of goal thanks to dynamic wing play from Jack Harrison and the immensely talented Brazilian star Raphinha. 

Regrettably, James was unable to convert many of the opportunities that came his way which has, in turn, left Leeds short of the goals they need to move further up the table and away from danger. It’s worth saying that the Welshman has also been the victim of Leeds’s foolish transfer policy whereby the club has refused to bring in new players and this has meant the 24-year-old has been played out of position for large parts of the season.

NO FREE PASS FOR DANIEL JAMES IN THE 2022/2023 SEASON

The fact that this has been the case with James deployed as a striker means that he will be given a free pass for this current season but the same luxury won’t be afforded to him during the 2022/2023 campaign. In short, the diminutive winger will need to begin justifying the faith Leeds put in him after parting with £25 million for his services.

Essentially, the Welsh international will need to be far more productive in front of goal in order to remain a Leeds United player in the future and also prove that he has the qualities to thrive in the best league in the world. There can be little doubt about it, the 24-year-old is at a crossroads and only an increased number of goals and assists will ensure that he is able to successfully progress in his career.

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