By George Overhill

27th Mar, 2022 | 4:48pm

Leeds United forward Daniel James tipped to replace Gareth Bale after Wales win over Austria

Leeds United forward Daniel James has been identified as the heir apparent to Wales hero Gareth Bale after the win over Austria, by Sam Ricketts.

The Real Madrid man once again was the hero for his country with both goals in a 2-1 win, to put them one win from the World Cup, while his teammate James had a number of opportunities to put the game to bed.

The Champions League winner hit out after the game at Spanish publication Marca calling him a “parasite” for his salary at Los Blancos, calling it “disgusting” (Guardian). AS put his earning at €88,000 per minute in January due to his lack of action at the Santiago Bernabeu.

52-cap former Welsh international Ricketts told BBC 5 Live after the result, via Leeds Live: “Tonight was Gareth Bale, it generally is Gareth Bale. Sometimes Aaron Ramsey can pop up with a goal.

“Dan James is starting to get his chances, if he starts putting those away. He needs to take over this mantle once Gareth does stop playing. But, right now, while we have Gareth, anything is possible.”

Big shoes

Rob Page’s side are going to have a gaping hole to fill when Bale retires, which could be sooner rather than later if he makes it to the World Cup.

The Whites’ speedy winger is a candidate but will need to become far more prolific.

After a £25million move to Elland Road this season, he has flattered to deceive.

At times he has proven to be a menace to opposing defences with his incisive running.

Yet at others he has been frustrating for his lack of output and inconsistency.

His transfer fee would probably have been better spent elsewhere with the benefit of hindsight after a terrible year at the club.

But with a key role potentially on the horizon for his national side, he would have the chance to establish himself in a way that has not yet been possible in the Premier League.

In other Leeds United news, Stan Collymore has identified what Jesse Marsch has done that Marcelo Bielsa wouldn’t.