'We're privy to some of the things that go on there' - Wales boss Rob Page on Daniel James' move from Manchester United to Leeds United

Leeds United head coach Marcelo Bielsa can make Daniel James 'the complete player' for his national team according to Wales boss Rob Page.

Sunday, 5th September 2021, 11:59 am
Updated Sunday, 5th September 2021, 12:00 pm
COMPLETE PLAYER - Rob Page expects Marcelo Bielsa to help Daniel James, pictured here with Wales team-mate Gareth Bale, a more complete player at Leeds United. Pic: Getty

Page's men take on Belarus away from home today in World Cup Qualifying and James is back in contention to start after missing the midweek friendly with Finland due to the completion of his move from Manchester United to Leeds.

"He's fine," said Page, looking ahead to the Group E game.

"We've protected him a little bit because he hasn't been on the pitch since the last game for Man United. He had a stressful couple of days with travelling and getting his medical done. Then flying him out later that evening.

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"He's trained and he looks really bright. Fully focused and ready for the game."

Still aged just 23, James is in line for his 25th Wales cap this afternoon. Page says the national side have already seen evidence of what the winger can do but expects James' new club boss to get even more out of him thanks to the intensity of Bielsa's regime at Thorp Arch.

"It's a great club, he's going to a great club with a well-respected manager, who in my opinion will get the best out of him," said Page.

"And he's obviously going to be really excited about that prospect. It's a four-year contract, so he can get his head down now and really enjoy his football.

"Everybody's seen the ability DJ's got. We've seen snippets of it at international level. He's been first class for us. When you go to a team like Leeds with a manager like Bielsa, who demands high intensity for 90 minutes, he will always have that ability if you get him extremely fit.

"We're only going to benefit from it. To have someone of DJ's ability, getting into the 80th minute and not having to worry about substitutions because he's got that resilience now in him and the fitness to be able to sustain that for 90 minutes, then we'll get the complete player."

Page's confidence in the prospect of a fitter James stems from what he has seen in Tyler Roberts' progression, having apparently put a period of frequent injury issues behind him and become a stronger athlete.

"I won't go into details because that's down to Leeds," he said.

"We're privy to some of the things that go on there. I think Tyler's record over the last couple of years since he's been there, we've seen a big improvement in his fitness levels and his physique.

"He [Bielsa] gets his players fit. They have to be fit to play the way he wants them to play. I think DJ will benefit from that as Tyler has."