Leeds United: Dan James questioned by media despite 'lively' performance for Wales in draw v Armenia
Daniel James’ end product has been questioned again after the Leeds United winger struggled to impact the game as Wales limped to a frustrating 1-1 draw with Armenia.
The flying winger wasn’t picked from the start of the game but came off the bench after 66 minutes in an attempt to inject some pace into the game, which he did, but he failed to make any tangible impact.
A draw for Wales means even if they win their final two group games, their Euro 2024 qualification is not in their hands and they may be forced into the playoffs if Croatia match their results.
Wales Online wrote in their player ratings on 18 November: “Daniel James (on for Harry Wilson 66) – Looked quite lively, but his pace couldn’t marry up with an end product,” before rating his performance at an average 6/10, while Sky Sports also rated his performance from the bench as a 6/10.
The usual questions
One criticism of James’ game has always been the questions over his end product. For all his pace and threat in possession, his final ball and finishing ability have often come under scrutiny, and those old issues have arisen again after this display.
His performances for Leeds so far this season have seen a marked improvement in that area of his game, with four goals and four assists in 14 Championship appearances under Daniel Farke, with the new boss getting the best out of his winger.
However, he has not had the same impact for his country, and even his inclusion on the bench rather than in the starting lineup shows Rob Page doesn’t value his ability quite as much as Farke has so far this season.
Wales will be hoping they can qualify for another major tournament, but as things stand it is out of their hands, and James’ role in that will be a source of frustration to him as well as his country after their recent struggles.
In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay has given an update on a new contract offer.