Leeds United Dealt With Major Blow In Pursuit Of Man United Ace: Should Bielsa Look Elsewhere?

Leeds United are among clubs interested in Daniel James - A good signing?
EURO 2021, Nationalteam Wales Training Daniel James under Wales traening paa Amsterdam ArenA i Holland fredag den 25. juni 2021. , Amsterdam Denmark *** Daniel James during Wales training at Amsterdam ArenA in the Netherlands on Friday 25 June 2021, Amsterdam Denmark PUBLICATIONxINxGERxSUIxAUTxONLY Copyright: Ritzau/Scanpix LiselottexSabroex COP103 spdk20210625-172208-L

According to The Sun, Leeds United are among clubs interested in Daniel James. They are joined by Brighton & Hove Albion in the list of clubs that want to sign him on loan this summer. However, the Manchester United speedster is unlikely to be allowed to leave the club, with Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer keen on having him around as a potential short-term deputy for the injured Marcus Rashford.

Was Daniel James A Good Option For Leeds United?

Leeds United’s interest in Daniel James dates back to 2019 before the forward eventually opted for Old Trafford. He was identified as an ideal target for Marcelo Bielsa due to his speed, pace and efficiency in the final third.

Unfortunately, the Welshman hasn’t had the opportunity to live up to his potential at Manchester United. During his ongoing two-year spell at the club, the winger has notched up as many as 72 competitive appearances. But, he has struggled to establish himself as a first-team regular at the club.

Indeed, James has fallen behind the likes of Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood and perhaps even Amad Diallo in the pecking order. As such, he could only muster 15 league appearances last term, with 11 of them being starts.

That hasn’t deterred Leeds United, though, who is aware of Daniel James’ potential. His pace, aggression and work ethic are ideal for Bielsa’s tactical philosophy at Elland Road, and given how the Argentine has managed to improve players in recent years, the Welshman could indeed have been an excellent signing.

Leeds United are among clubs interested in Daniel James - Does he have what it takes?
Leeds United v Manchester United, ManU Premier League 25/04/2021. Manchester United midfielder Daniel James 21 at the Premier League match between Leeds United and Manchester United at Elland Road, Leeds, England on 25 April 2021. Leeds Elland Road West Yorkshire England Editorial use only DataCo restrictions apply See www.football-dataco.com PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK , Copyright: xSimonxDaviesx PSI-12591-0028

What’s Next For Leeds United?

With Daniel James unlikely to leave Manchester United, at least in the ongoing transfer window, Leeds United need to shift their focus to other available options in the market. They are still in desperate need of attacking reinforcements, following the departure of Pablo Hernandez and Ezgjan Alioski in the summer.

The Whites have done well to bring in talents like Amari Miller and Sead McGurk. But neither of them are ready for first-team action, thus leaving Bielsa devoid of a proper alternative for first-choice wingers in Raphinha and Jack Harrison.

It is perhaps fair to point out that Helder Costa is facing an uncertain future at the club. The Portuguese winger has struggled in the Premier League, and may potentially tempt Leeds to cash in on him this summer.

Costa’s departure should further deplete the club’s resources. As such, the Whites must find a proper alternative to James in the market. They may also require a new playmaker, given the lack of options in the number ten slot, which is why the club’s reported pursuit of Rodrigo de Paul earlier in the summer was a surprise to no one.

Jack O’Brien

A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.