Leeds United return to east London for the second time in a week to face West Ham United in the Premier League this afternoon.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side will be looking for revenge at the London Stadium after the Irons knocked them out of the FA Cup at the third-round stage last weekend.
The Argentine has had to deal with numerous injury problems throughout the season but there have been signs of that alleviating ahead of kick-off, which means the manager has a little more room to breathe in terms of team selection.
As such, there is a particularly huge call to make with Daniel James as the club-record summer signing has been woefully out of form since his £30m move from Manchester United.
To his credit, he has been one of several players to have been asked to carry the burden of the Whites’ attacking play in the absence of leading talisman Patrick Bamford.
However, he has still not really delivered anything of note.
Indeed, as per WhoScored, the Wales international has managed an average rating of 6.56 per game (the ninth-best in the team) and he has struggled to have much of an influence in the final third.
There are five players who are more creative than him, having averaged only 0.9 key passes per game, whilst 0.8 dribbles per league outing sees him rank eighth in the whole squad for that statistic – a worrying sign considering he’s a winger by trade.
Former top-flight striker turned pundit Darren Bent summed James up well, back in November 2020 – when he was still at Old Trafford.
“The only thing about Dan James at times, for me, he’s a little bit headless,” he told Football Insider. “He’s shown great potential, when he first went to United he played really well, scored a few goals but at times he for me he’s fouled or he shoots sometimes when he should pass it, he’ll pass when he should shoot.”
Returns of just two goals and two assists from 17 appearances just aren’t good enough from your big-money star, so it’s time for Bielsa to be ruthless in his team selection by axing the £16.2m-rated lightweight.
The Hammers bullied him last weekend, he cannot be carried once again here this afternoon.
AND in other news, Junior Firpo confirms injury update in huge Leeds United boost…