By Joe Ellis

10th Feb, 2022 | 7:40am

BBC pundit Richards blown away by 'outstanding' Dan James in Leeds United draw v Aston Villa

Leeds United played out a pulsating 3-3 draw away at Aston Villa as Marcelo Bielsa’s side pulled one point further away from the relegation zone.

Dan James scored twice before Pascal Struijk rescued a point for the Whites in the second half after Jacob Ramsey’s brace and a Phillipe Coutinho strike had the Villains ahead.

James was the one who excelled for Leeds as he played out of position again as the central striker, but he rose to the occasion.

BBC Match of the Day pundit Micah Richards was very impressed with what he saw from the Welshman in the Midlands last night.

“He’d scored two before today and he went and scored two more today,” Richards said, “I thought his whole round game was outstanding.

“We’ve talked a lot about Dan James a lot but I’ve seen a more measured and more composed approach.”

Helpful versatility

It’s still not ideal to have a winger play as your central striker, especially since Patrick Bamford had such a good year last season but needs must at the moment for Bielsa.

James has previously struggled when asked to lead the line but the added composure Richards mentions ensured he took his two chances like a proper goal poacher.

It’s been highly useful to have James fill the void upfront, even if he hasn’t been performing at Bamford levels, as Joe Gelhardt is probably too young to keep leading the line in the Premier League despite his reasonable performances when he has been given the chance.

Being able to play in multiple positions is something Bielsa likes a lot about James, similarly to Stuart Dallas and Luke Ayling, and his searing pace is enough to worry any defender.

If the Welshman can keep his levels to that of last night, he might even keep Bamford out of the side when he returns from injury.

In other Leeds United news, Gary Lineker was thrilled by what he saw at Villa Park on Tuesday.