By George Overhill

1st Sep, 2022 | 10:20pm

The loan deal to take Dan James from Leeds United to Fulham has been completed in the dying embers of the transfer window, talkSPORT’s Alex Crook reports.

Despite no new signings arriving at Elland Road and the minutes ticking down towards the 11pm deadline on Thursday (1 September) the Welshman is now a member of the Cottagers for the coming season.

While the Bamba Dieng signing fell through in mind-blowing circumstances earlier on deadline day, James, a £25million signing from Manchester United just a year ago, was allowed to complete his medical in west London.

He was left hanging after successfully completing the tests in an echo of his failed moved to Elland Road from Swansea the first time around, but the Whites have apparently now given the go ahead without anyone arriving in west Yorkshire.

Crook wrote on his personal Twitter account just as the window was about to enter its final hour: “Dan James to FulhamFC from LUFC done.”

Risk

Now that the space has been made fans will be watching intently to see what happens in the small amount of time there is left to fill it.

James has been used frequently by both his United managers, often out of position and often when supporters might have preferred somebody else to be played, but he has given his all in a White shirt even if it hasn’t always been effective.

To simply remove one of Jesse Marsch’s options without there being a hefty monetary offer on the table seems to do nothing but weaken the squad.

It could be debated as to how much it is weakened, but without a new body coming in there is at the absolute least one fewer senior player to use should the kind of injury crisis that engulfed last season erupt again.

When Cody Gakpo made his way back into the club’s sights late in the window it seemed like letting James go for a reasonable fee to Tottenham would be sensible if the Dutchman could be landed as an upgrade.

It made less sense to send him on loan to London in order to sign Dieng but it was at least a striker that was more important in light of injuries to Patrick Bamford, Joe Gelhardt and Rodrigo already this year.

Now, unless Victor Orta can produce a rabbit out of the hat to squeak inside the deadline it is hard to see the logic to jettisoning James for nothing in return.

In other Leeds United news, the final hope of goalscoring assistance appears to rest on one man barring a very late surprise.