Daniel James yet to do anything of significance at Leeds United
By Daniel Feliciano
Deadline day was dominated by the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester United, but it was that deal that allowed another long-running saga to finally be completed as Daniel James finally signed for Leeds United.
Since his arrival at the club though, it’s been largely forgotten because James is yet to do anything of significance in the white shirt of the Yorkshire side.
James completed a move worth a club-record £30million and has so far made six appearances in the Premier League as well as featuring in the Carabao Cup win over Fulham on penalties.
In that time, he has scored exactly zero goals and assisted exactly zero goals. In short, he’s been a car crash in a team that is struggling for confidence and desperate to add to their single win so far this season.
It was expected that James’ pace, directness and energy would be a perfect fit for Marcelo Bielsa’s side who are often lauded for the way they take on a man-to-man approach across the entire pitch.
However after a great season last year in their return to the top flight, this season they have been figured out. Only eight goals scored in the league, their energy is now being matched with tactical nous by opposition managers.
From 399 Premier League minutes so far this season, James has averaged just one shot per game, 0.3 key passes per game, 0.7 successful dribbles per game and just 12.7 passes per game, according to WhoScored.
Those numbers on their own are pretty shocking, but when you consider he is the most expensive player in the club’s history then fans are right to be demanding far more from him. He needs to be the man to step up in tough times and help this team be better.
That must start this weekend against bottom-of-the-table Norwich, where he will almost certainly start once again. If he fails to deliver at Carrow Road, then Bielsa must consider axing him from the starting lineup and going back to the Jack Harrison and Raphinha wing partnership that flourished last year.
In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay has shared a major update on the January transfer window.