By Sean Fisher

23rd Oct, 2022 | 10:10pm

Adam Crafton: Leeds United season 'flipped' after Dan James departure

Leeds United slumped into the relegation zone on Sunday following a 3-2 loss to Fulham – Adam Crafton believes the turning point this season was letting Dan James leave.

Leeds United’s winless streak stretched to eight games on Sunday, with huge pressure now piling on Jesse Marsch at Elland Road.

The last win came against Chelsea in mid-August, and The Athletic journalist Crafton believes the drama of Deadline Day a week later was a turning point for the Whites.

Via Twitter, Crafton wrote: “Felt to me like Leeds season flipped quite dramatically when they let Dan James go and didn’t replace him/recruit a senior striker on deadline day.

“It’s not the quality of James per se, but it suggested something about the direction/investment/lightness of the squad that was worrying.”

Let down by the board

Jesse Marsch seems to be on a one-way track out of Yorkshire following the loss to Fulham, but the American will probably leave with a bitter feeling towards the board.

He understood that a new forward was needed in the summer, and following links to Cody Gakpo and Bamba Dieng in the summer, Dan James’ move to the Cottagers was green-lighted.

In a dramatic turn of events, moves for Gakpo and Dieng both collapsed, and Marsch was left with just 18-year-old Wilfried Gnonto at Elland Road.

Strangely enough, Leeds’ struggles since Deadline Day have been finding the net, with Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo both lacking the needed composure in front of goal.

As mentioned by Crafton, James himself wasn’t an out-and-out goalscorer, but his departure hugely dropped the depth in quality at Leeds.

Is Marsch to blame? Yes. But so is the board. A striker ready to feature regularly in the first team was needed in the summer and they failed to provide.

In other Leeds United news, Jack Harrison in 3/10 stinker for Leeds player ratings v Fulham