Gary Neville raves about Daniel James at Leeds United ahead of Newcastle clash
Gary Neville waxed lyrical about new Leeds United man Daniel James ahead of the 1-1 draw against Newcastle United on Friday night.
James, 23, was handed his first Leeds start by Marcelo Bielsa with Jack Harrison unavailable due to an illness.
After joining from Manchester United in a potential club-record deal on deadline day, fans have been excited to see James.
Ex-Man United right-back Neville is happy James quit Old Trafford to join Leeds, who he feels are well-suited for his style.
“I’m really happy that he’s left Manchester United and gone to Leeds because I think he would have been a bit-part player at best at Manchester United. They’ve got so many forwards and attacking players,” said Neville on Sky Sports Main Event on Friday night [07:46pm].
“He comes in, he’s perfect for Leeds United. Leeds United want to get, basically, from box to box as quickly as possible.
“That’s sprinting forward and sprinting back. He’s honest as the day is long.
“I do think the bits in the game he can improve on is his last part so when he’s asked to play a deep defence who sit back and counter-attack, that’s where Dan James needs to improve.
“There are parts of his game to improve but he’s young, he’s enthusiastic and I think he does suit this Leeds style of play.”
Things will start to pick up
It was a shock that Bielsa started James, in all honesty.
Not many players have walked through the doors at Elland Road while Bielsa has been in charge and gone into his starting line-up very quickly.
Bielsa usually takes his time to play new signings in competitive fixtures and usually gives them games in the Under-23s and numerous substitute appearances first.
However, with James, he was straight into the squad against Liverpool last week as he made his debut before starting versus Newcastle on Friday night at St James’ Park.
He wasn’t amazing in his full Leeds debut but he did show moments of class as he drove forward with his pace and his crossing was good too.
James was simply outshone by Rodrigo and Raphinha.
He’ll get to grips with things quickly, especially with Bielsa playing him in Harrison’s absence.
In other Leeds United news, a pundit is furious after what Craig Pawson told the FA about Pascal Struijk’s red card.