By George Overhill

2nd Jan, 2023 | 10:15am

Marco Silva doesn't rule out January Leeds United return for Daniel James

Marco Silva didn’t rule out the possibility that Dan James could return to Leeds United in January, saying “many things can happen”.

The Welsh international moved to Craven Cottage on a season long loan on transfer deadline day, as the Whites’ close to the window descended into farce.

But he has made only 10 appearances in west London and has been relegated to the bench of late, raising the prospect that he could return to Elland Road in January, which Silva appeared fairly ambivalent about.

The Cottagers boss said in a press conference on Monday (2 January) via Sky Sports News: “James is still adapting to our football club, a completely different style of play.

“Until now we didn’t speak about this possibility [of an early return to Leeds], we signed him on loan to stay for the season with us.

“Of course now, from yesterday, we’ve opened the market, and of course many things can happen but no news about it.”

Forgotten man

The circumstances in which James left West Yorkshire earlier this season were unpopular and it doesn’t look to have worked out particularly well for the player.

Wilfried Gnonto, the man who belatedly did arrive late on the same day James went to Fulham, and Crysencio Summerville have probably benefited from the big-money signing from Manchester United not being ahead of them in the pecking order under Jesse Marsch.

But whether the American would like to now have the option to use his winger again might be a valid question if he is being underused under Silva.

The Portuguese didn’t sound especially emphatic on keeping hold of James, and since, from a Leeds United perspective, it was largely seen as a loan move to make space for a senior forward to arrive at Elland Road there could be a route back.

Fans have been crying out for a striker to be signed to compete with and cover for Patrick Bamford for so long now, and it remains a prospect for January.

It would be a somewhat underwhelming consolation but if the club can’t bring in that goalscorer there is surely the possibility that they negotiate James back from Craven Cottage.

In other Leeds United news, favourable payment terms have helped the club close in on a major winter signing.