Leeds United are keeping tabs on defender Reece James, with the Whites considering making a loan move for him in January, according to a report from Football Insider.
The youngster is back at parent club Chelsea, following a successful loan spell at Wigan Athletic in the Championship in the 2018/19 campaign.
James has recently come back from an ankle injury and is yet to play a single minute of Premier League football (via Transfermarkt).
Football Insider suggest that if the 19-year-old fails to break into the first team by the time the January transfer window opens, then Leeds may explore the possibility of bringing him in on loan.
They also suggest that the club’s Director of Football Victor Orta will assess James as a potential long-term signing, which they would look to make should they win promotion to the Premier League this season.
There is no doubt that James would be an outstanding signing for Leeds if they managed to pull it off.
Whilst on loan at Wigan Athletic last season he was brilliant, making 44 starts in the Championship and scoring three goals and providing three assists. His performances were so impressive that he was moved from his regular position of right-back into central midfield so that he could influence games more (via Transfermarkt), highlighting his versatility.
His work at the Latics was then recognised at their end of year party in the park, where he won three awards including the Player of the Season and Player’s Player of the Season (via wiganathletic.com).
Leeds have been playing Stuart Dallas as a converted right-back due to an injury to Luke Ayling (per Transfermarkt), and in fairness he has impressed.
But signing James would cover the Whites in a number of positions, as mentioned he also played in midfield for Wigan last season, whilst he can also fill in at centre-back as he did in the Latics’ fixture against Hull City (via Transfermarkt).
The issue would be the number of players they already have on loan. There are already six players on temporary deals at Elland Road (via Transfermarkt) and you are only allowed five in the matchday squad.
It is also questionable whether Chelsea would actually be willing to allow him to leave. Frank Lampard has given him a couple of chances already since his return from injury, starting him once in the Champions League and once in the Carabao Cup (via Transfermarkt).
The ex-England international has been willing to give youth a chance this season; indeed, he has started Mason Mount in every league game so far (per Transfermarkt).
It seems more likely, therefore, that James will continue his development at Chelsea and compete with Cesar Azpilicueta for the right-back position.
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Leeds fans, would you like to see your side sign Reece James on loan in January? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…
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