By Craig Scott

26th Sep, 2022 | 6:47am

Daniel James received a mixed reaction for his performance against Poland on Sunday as the Leeds United loanee played in Wales’ 1-0 defeat in Cardiff.

Wales have joined England in being relegated from the top-tier of the Nations League with Karol Swiderski’s 57th-minute goal consigning Rob Page’s side to defeat at the Cardiff City Stadium.

James, 24, has barely played for Fulham since Leeds loaned him to the London club on transfer deadline day but he got a good run-out against Poland, playing 90 minutes for Wales as he earned his 38th cap.

British and Welsh newspapers have given a mixed verdict on James’ performance.

According to the South Wales Evening Post (26 September, print edition, page 46), James had a good chance to score against Poland.

Ian Mitchelmore wrote: “Wales unexpectedly created a glorious chance to hit Poland on the break as Cabango’s hacked clearance from his own box sent Daniel James through on goal, although the Fulham loanee’s low drilled effort was blocked by the legs of [Wojciech] Szczesny.”

In The Mirror’s player ratings (26 September, print edition, page 51), James was the lowest-scoring player on the pitch with journalist James Nursey handing him just 5/10 for his display.

The Daily Mail’s ratings were a bit nicer for James as he was given a 6.5/10 by them [26 September print edition, page six of pull-out].

WalesOnline’s player ratings were even more generous than The Mirror’s as James picked up a 7/10 and they wrote: “Searing pace proved a useful weapon for his side, particularly on the counter-attack, but couldn’t quite find the end product needed to make a breakthrough. Deserved more for his efforts.”


Based on the fact there are some low and some middle-of-the-road ratings to James’ performance against Poland, it’s fair to say he had quite an average match.

And that’s just what we expect from one of Leeds’ most underwhelming signings of all time.

James signed for Leeds last year in a deal that could rise up to a club-record level of £30million [The Times].

However, he’s completely failed to show he’s been worth anywhere near that with a series of dull and uninspired performances at Elland Road.

To be fair to him, Marcelo Bielsa played him as a striker a lot of the time and that didn’t help because while the Welshman can run non-stop throughout a game and constantly apply pressure, his finishing is poor.

And that seemed to be an issue for Wales in their Nations League defeat to Poland too.

James can look busy, zip around the pitch and put some defenders under pressure every now and then while also showing he can cross the ball into the box quite well.

However, he lacks in final product and always has done at the highest level of the game.

That’s why he’s at Fulham now.

In other Leeds United news, this Leeds-linked defender will “absolutely” be sold in January by a manager who’s pals with Jesse Marsch.