Phil Hay: Daniel James to start in striker role for Leeds United in clash v Manchester City
Daniel James looks set to start in the striker role once again for Leeds United when they play Manchester City on Saturday, according to The Athletic journalist Phil Hay.
James, 24, has spent most of his debut season at Elland Road playing as a striker but he’s currently on an 11-match goalless run in the Premier League.
Despite this, Hay got the feeling from Jesse Marsch’s pre-match press conference that James is going to play as the striker once more despite Joe Gelhardt and Sam Greenwood being available.
“You can’t help but watch Leeds and think they’re a team that needs a centre-forward, that are missing a centre-forward,” said Hay on the latest episode of The Phil Hay Show podcast [29 April, 19m25s].
“I’ll be really interested to see what Marsch does this weekend.
“The sort of vibe I was getting from him in his press conference [on Thursday] was it probably will be Dan James again.
“But at the moment, they just don’t look like a team that’s got a bag full of goals in them.”
James is offering next to nothing up front.
He’s not a striker and even his performances on the wing, for most of this season, have been underwhelming.
It seems there’s a feeling at Leeds that Raphinha, Jack Harrison and James must all be played because they were all expensive signings for the club.
But what happened to managers not being scared to make a hard decision?
James hasn’t played well for a while and even Raphinha’s form has dropped so why not stick one of them on the bench and play Gelhardt up front?
The 19-year-old has been so impressive this season and having him starting up front will surely offer more of an outlet against a Man City side that will dominate possession on Saturday at Elland Road.
Gelhardt’s strong and powerful for his age and his hold-up play could be very useful to help the team get up the pitch with pacey wingers on either side of him.
Stop sticking round pegs in square holes.
In other Leeds United news, yet another season-ending injury blow has rocked Elland Road.