By Dave Woods

14th Oct, 2019 | 10:26am

Phil Hay: Leeds wanted Chelsea youngster if they had been promoted

Athletic journalist Phil Hay has said that if Leeds had got promoted last season they would have made a move for Chelsea youngster Reece James. 

Hay made the reveal in a Q&A on the Athletic website and speculated that Harry Wilson would have been another name they would have been tempted by.

“Reece James is one who I gather they would have gone for had they been promoted,” Hay said. “I suspect Harry Wilson might have taken their fancy too.”

James played 46 times for Wigan on loan last season, scoring three goals and adding three assists. He mainly played at right-back but also made 13 appearances as a defensive midfielder.

28-year-old Luke Ayling is the number one Leeds right-back at present, although Stuart Dallas has played there brilliantly this season while Ayling was out injured.

Both players recently signed new long-term contracts with the club.

James hasn’t managed to make an impact in the Chelsea first-team since his return like Mason Mount and Fikayo Tomori.

However, he was suffering with an ankle injury at the start of the season and has been on the bench for the last two Premier League games, and has started once in the Champions League and once in the EFL Cup.

Harry Wilson is at Bournemouth on a season-long loan.

Both are solid, young players who would fit into the sort of side that Bielsa is building at Leeds and give a strong hint as to the future in the Premier League – if Leeds get promoted.

Former Derby man Frank Lampard is giving young players a chance at Chelsea after players like Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi had been ignored under previous managers.

In other Leeds news, Jack Clarke sends message to fans after international display