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Leeds: Noel Whelan makes Dan James claim

Leeds: Noel Whelan makes Dan James claim -Leeds United News

Leeds ambassador Noel Whelan believes Jesse Marsch has a new ‘problem’ with Dan James in a central attacking role, Football Insider report.

The Lowdown: James’ Elland Road career

James finally made the move to Yorkshire last summer in a deal worth over £26m. Since then, the Wales international has made 30 appearances for the Whites, scoring four goals and registering four assists.

He has been used as a centre-forward more than a winger at Elland Road due to Patrick Bamford’s injury struggles, once again occupying a central role in the 1-1 draw with Southampton on Saturday.

The 24-year-old was withdrawn on the hour mark for Joe Gelhardt, and Whelan thinks he may drop out of the starting line up for the trip to Watford on Saturday.

The Latest: Whelan’s comments

Whelan, now a Leeds employee, described ‘the problem’ to FI with James and said he may ‘have to make way’ for Rodrigo or Gelhardt.

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“The problem with Dan James in that striker position is that he’s playing like a winger.

“His runs are always the same – in behind and using his pace. But part of a striker’s job is playing with your back to goal, holding the ball up and trying to bring others into play.

“That’s where Gelhardt or Rodrigo would be a more natural choice. I think if James is going to play going forward, it will have to be on that wing.

“With Jack Harrison getting the goal and Raphinha on the other wing, it could be that he’ll have to make way.

“I like to see these jigsaw pieces playing in the correct positions.”

The Verdict: Options limited

Gelhardt would be the natural replacement to lead the line, with Rodrigo just in behind, but he too has suffered a problem, hobbling off for the Under-23s on Monday.

The initial diagnosis was a dead leg, however, the teenager could be in a race against time to play a key role at Vicarage Road, which could result in James once again occupying a centre-forward role.

He has shown at times how much of a threat he can be there, scoring twice against Aston Villa in February, but since then, he hasn’t found the net, so if Gelhadt is ready from the off, it could be a wise move to make a change.

In other news: Elland Road source: Marsch and Orta now ready to axe ‘horrible’ Leeds ace after woeful season. 

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