Leeds United were able to land goalkeeper Kiko Casilla from Real Madrid last month in a stunning swoop, though manager Marcelo Bielsa is unlikely to be completely satisfied with his club’s work in the January transfer window.
The Argentinian coach had been keen on adding a winger to his squad with Swansea City’s Daniel James coming close to joining the Yorkshire club only for the Swans to pull the plug on the deal at the last minute (Telegraph).
Bielsa will now have to make do with the likes of Pablo Hernandez and Jack Clarke as he looks to guide his side to promotion.
How, though, do the latter and James compare?
Predominantly a left winger, James is a player who would have brought a lot a pace out wide to this Leeds side.
The 21-year-old’s electrifying speed was on full display in Swansea’s recent 4-1 FA Cup win over Brentford after he darted his way into the opposition’s box during a counter-attack before calmly converting past the goalkeeper.
James’ impressive display in the fifth round of the FA Cup comes after he starred in his team’s 1-0 league victory against Millwall, which earned him praise from manager Graham Potter following a difficult period in his young career.
“It was a Dan James performance which is one of incredible effort,” Potter told Wales Online after the game. “He was explosive, got the crowd on their feet, he got hit and got up and worked to do his best for the team. It was a fully committed performance and I was really proud of him.”
TT Grade: B
Like James, Clarke thrives when playing on the left flank where he can cut in from with his right foot.
The 18-year-old, though, is also capable of operating on the right, something he did exceptionally well in Leeds’ 2-0 win against Derby County last month.
Frank Lampard’s side found it incredibly difficult to contain Clarke that night and, in the end, were punished for it.
The Leeds academy product was able to find Kemar Roofe with a well-placed cross before the striker converted to put his team 1-0 up.
All in all, it has been a promising campaign for Clarke whose performances have alerted a host of Premier League clubs with Southampton just one outfit who were said to be interested in signing the winger during the previous transfer window (Sky Sports).
TT Grade: B
There is every chance Leeds go back in for James in the summer, especially if they win Premier League promotion, and it would not be hard to understand why.
Together, James and Clarke could give Bielsa quite the winger duo for years to come, a winger duo who could really light up Elland Road.
The two have the skill set to become top players in their positions and look to be going places if this season is anything to go by.