There’s not been too many players over the years who have crossed the great divide across the Pennines, but Daniel James joined an elite club this week when Leeds finally got the man they wanted 18 months ago.
While Leeds’ interest him was no secret – our attempts to sign him two seasons ago were shown warts and all in the Amazon documentary series – it was a surprise how quickly things moved this week when he swapped Lancashire for Yorkshire.
On the Sunday he started Man U’s game at Wolves, by Tuesday morning he was a Leeds player. No messing. He said after he’d joined that he’d had no inkling of what was about to happen when he played at Molineux on Sunday, but it just shows you how fast things can move in football.
Marcelo is obviously a huge fan and you can only assume that it was Man U who made the first move to ask if Leeds were still interested, and it moved quickly from there.
It’s ironic that Dan has become the club’s second most expensive signing behind a player who later moved in the opposite direction. That was Rio of course.
In today’s market people don’t talk about fees like they used to do, and I think I can say pretty much for certain that the player won’t have given a second thought to how much Leeds have paid. That’s not because he won’t care, it’s simply because it has nothing to do with him what the price tag is. He will simply want to play for Leeds and do well.
We all saw last time how keen he was to come to Leeds and he’ll remember the reception he got when he came back with Swansea. Since then, he’s done well at Man United. He’s been a regular, he’s been versatile, and in some respects I’m surprised they have let him go now and not hung on until January just to see how things panned out.
But their loss is Leeds’ gain. He’s said before that his favoured position is on the left, but you’d think he has come to Leeds to play primarily on the right. And it’s hard not to get excited about the prospect of Jack Harrison down one flank and Dan James down the other. Two young, hungry, quality players. Dan has all the attributes of a Marcelo player and you’d expect him to fit straight in.
So, welcome to Leeds Dan. You’re one of us now son, and you’ll love it just as much as you thought.