Leeds United’s winless start to the new Premier League season continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw at struggling Newcastle United on Friday night.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side took the lead courtesy of Raphinha before Allan Saint-Maximin’s superb strike levelled things up for the Magpies.
While both sides were guilty of missing numerous opportunities – they had a combined 39 shots on goal – there was one man for Leeds who really struggled to get going offensively.
Dan James arrived on transfer deadline day from Manchester United, and after a couple of substitute appearances, he made his full Premier League debut last night against Newcastle.
But it was a game to forget for the Wales international, who was kept in check by Magpies full-back Javier Manquillo all night before he was eventually hooked just after the hour mark for Tyler Roberts.
As per Sofascore, the former United ace finished the game with a 6.5 match rating, which was by far the lowest of any Leeds player.
Both of his shots on goal failed to hit the target, his two attempted crosses didn’t find their mark, while he couldn’t get on the ball as much as he would have wanted in the first place either – in fact, his total of 31 touches and nine passes were both less than goalkeeper Illan Meslier, a real indication of just how peripheral he was.
And, writing in his post-match player ratings, Leeds Live’s Beren Cross gave him a five, saying: “A very quiet full debut from James, who was either anonymous or nullified by Javier Manquillo when the ball did come his way.”
With Jack Harrison out of the squad yesterday, James had the perfect chance to stake his claim and show Bielsa why the Leeds boss should be starting him from the off.
Instead, the Welshman fluffed his big chance, and if things are all good with Harrison, it’s difficult to see how James’ performance warrants him getting in ahead of his teammate for Leeds’ next Premier League clash against West Ham next week.
The 23-year-old simply let his manager down against Newcastle.
Meanwhile, this Leeds star was superb vs Newcastle…