Leeds United could overrule Victor Orta and recall Dan James if he shines at World Cup
Dan James traded life at Leeds United for Fulham on deadline day of the summer transfer window, but the winger can prove to Victor Orta that this was a costly mistake as he sets out for the World Cup this week.
The winger has subsequently seen his lousy luck continue, failing to break into Marco Silva’s Fulham side on a weekly basis, featuring just eight times for The Cottagers.
However, following a superb cameo from the Fulham bench against Manchester United in which he terrorised Tyrell Malacia and Luke Shaw with his direct running and deadly pace, James will look to take this momentum into the Welsh World Cup campaign and deliver for manager Rob Page.
James recently revealed that part of the reason he left Leeds in the summer was for more game time in the run-up to the World Cup.
Evidently, playing for his country is James’ top priority – and there is no issue with this – but Qatar could prove a seismic few weeks in the attacker’s career, with winnable fixtures against USA and Iran awaiting him in the group stages.
If he can guarantee himself a starting spot up top alongside Gareth Bale, it would be no surprise to see James catch many Leeds fans off guard and deliver a string of superb performances.
Bale will enjoy playing alongside James, who is renowned for his ability to stretch defences, get to the by-line and deliver countless crosses for centre-forwards to feed off.
James is all but guaranteed his position in the Welsh starting line-up, with the 25-year-old clocking up 865 minutes in their World Cup qualifiers – more than any other player – and scoring two goals and providing a further two assists.
And although Leeds are not short of attacking options and therefore may not feel the need to recall James – with Luis Sinisterra, Brenden Aaronson and Willy Gnonto just a few of the players occupying these roles – the winger can offer Marsch a dynamism that few others can match.
He is ready-made for Leeds’ high press with they deploy, and on his day, few defenders can match his pace when facing one-on-one situations.
Although his first stint at the club was a hugely disappointing one, James can reignite his Leeds career this World Cup and prove to Victor Orta that he still has a future at Elland Road.