Marcelo Bielsa outlines where Daniel James will fit in among Leeds United's attacking options

Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa says winger Daniel James will solely add to his wide options.
Leeds United winger Daniel James. Pic: LUFCLeeds United winger Daniel James. Pic: LUFC
Leeds United winger Daniel James. Pic: LUFC

The Whites landed long-time target James on summer deadline day last month from arch rivals Manchester United in a deal worth in the region of £25million.

Leeds have admired the 23-year-old winger since his time at Swansea City in the Championship - when United saw a deal to sign him in January 2019 fall through at the final hour with James at Elland Road having completed paperwork and a medical.

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His arrival saw fellow wide man Helder Costa move out on loan to Valencia and caused debate about whether Bielsa may move James or someone else in his squad into a more central role.

Leeds already boast Raphinha and Jack Harrison as options on the flank but, Bielsa says, James will compete with them for a starting berth and there won't be any readjustment in LS11.

"To begin with they play the same function," Bielsa said ahead of his side's meeting with Liverpool in the Premier League this afternoon.

"They are wide players who can play on the right or the left. They are players who develop the game well out wide which is not an easy task and throughout the season it is always necessary to have three or four players for one or two positions. And to have added James and kept Summerville, it gives us a good panorama of options."

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Asked about the Whites' move to finally land James on a five-year deal, Bielsa added: "I think the decision to bring in James was the correct one by the club.

"He will be available this weekend - he's a player who can play on either side that combines his ability to unbalance the opponent. He passages into the empty spaces, considering his speed."

On how James had developed during his time at Old Trafford, Bielsa said he wasn't the best judge.

"Personally I can't say because I don't know him [James]," he said.

"It's been two years since I first had contact with his game and he's maintained his characteristics in higher competition."