Leeds United have been once again linked with a move for Manchester United winger Dan James, and he could well be on the move as his club announce the signing of a new winger.
Leeds have wingers on the agenda as we get stuck into the transfer window, even with Jack Harrison signing from Manchester City on a permanent deal.
Harrison and Raphinha need some cover that can match their quality to ensure that Marcelo Bielsa can breed more consistency from his side heading into their second season in the Premier League.
One player that has now been linked with the club is a familiar face, with a print edition of the Scottish Mail on Sunday (11/7) reporting that Bielsa and Leeds are still keeping a close eye on Man United’s Dan James.
Having tried (and somehow failed) to sign him before, it appears as though Leeds still see a lot to like about James, after he returned from Wales’ decent Euro 2020 run.
However, we’re going to deliver three reasons why Leeds should swerve any approach for James…
Is he good enough?
The first question is the argument about whether James is good enough to improve our squad.
With James, we know we’d be getting a player that would suit the level of intensity that Bielsa requires from everyone, and he’s demonstrated that at Man United. Playing in transitions, everyone knows how dangerous he is, and he sets them up on his own with 20.6 pressures per game.
However, being able to press high and recover the ball isn’t enough to be a useful asset to our side.
Ball retention and end-product are two things that, at the moment, he would need to improve a lot on in order to be up to the right standard.
Three goals and one assist isn’t a great output, but his expected goal contributions of just 3.5 isn’t enough.
Man United paid a hefty £15million (plus £3million in add-ons) to bring in James back in the summer of 2019, a fee that Leeds would not have been able to afford for him at the time.
Now, Man United have bigger fish to fry as look to completely seal the deal for Jadon Sancho, coming in at a mouthwatering £73million.
That sort of incoming means that the Red Devils will be eager to recoup some of the money through sales, and James is probably the likely party to be sold.
The issue here is that they won’t want to sell him for cheap, given that they’ve spent a fair amount on him.
Victor Orta has found brilliant deals in the past for us, and at present, all signs point towards this not being a cheap or easy deal to do for us.
Better options elsewhere
You add the two previous points together and you now have a player the club might be looking at who isn’t at the right standard compared to our current players, and one that will cost more than he’s worth.
Man United agreed to pay more to Swansea City for James than we paid for Raphinha last season, and that’s a summary of why certain domestic deals are just not worth visiting.
At present, you can see all across Europe that clubs are suffering financially, and that is something we can take advantage of right now.
Why bother paying over the odds for a player in this league when there are options twice as good for around the same price?
For example, Noa Lang is a player linked with Leeds right now after scoring 17 and assisting seven for Club Brugge and would cost £21million.
That’s an option far more desirable and wouldn’t cost much more.