Leeds United picked up their first win of the Premier League season as they beat Watford 1-0 at Elland Road on Saturday.
Diego Llorente’s first half strike was enough to secure the three points for the Whites as they worked hard to earn a win against the Hornets. The result takes Leeds up to 16th as it stands and three points off the top half of the table in this early stage of the season.
Despite the positives to come from winning the game, one player for Marcelo Bielsa’s team struggled to perform. Summer signing Dan James put in a worryingly ineffective display out wide, which will surely have left his manager feeling let down.
The 23-year-old has now played four Premier League games for Leeds and is yet to record a SofaScore rating of higher than 6.6 for the club. His rating against Watford on Saturday was a measly 6.2 as he failed to show what he can do in general play and in the final third.
In terms of his general play, James was a lightweight. As per SofaScore, he lost six of his 10 duels and made zero tackles in the game. He also gave the ball away 18 times and only completed 64% of his attempted passes, having 35 touches overall throughout the 90 minutes.
This suggests that he was too weak to deal with the strength of the Watford defenders, who eased him out of the way most of the time. Bielsa could be worried by this when Leeds come up against other teams who use their physical attributes to impose themselves on the Whites, as James may not be suited to such opponents based on this performance.
The Wales international did not redeem himself in the final third, either. As per SofaScore, James had a dribble success rate of 0% from four attempts and completed none of his attempted crosses. This led to him providing zero key passes in the match, whilst his only two shots were blocked by Watford defenders before they could reach Ben Foster’s goal.
Bielsa will surely have been feeling let down by James’ overall performance. The winger struggled both in his build-up play and in his execution of skill in key moments, leading to an all-round disappointing performance from the winger. Hopefully he will be able to repay Bielsa’s faith by coming back after the international break and improving the standard of his displays.