Tottenham Hotspur are in talks over a deal to bring Daniel James to north London this summer.
That’s according to Fabrizio Romano, with the Italian journalist revealing in a recent post on Twitter that, following earlier reports of Spurs’ interest in a “shock” move the Leeds United winger, Fabio Paratici is indeed in discussions with the Whites regarding a deal for the 24-year-old over the remainder of the summer transfer window.
The transfer insider went on to state that Tottenham are hoping to secure the Wales international on a season-long loan with an option to purchase – believed to be in the region of £20m – the forward next summer, although it is also claimed that Jesse Marsch is not against keeping the attacker at Elland Road beyond Thursday’s transfer deadline.
In his post, Romano said: “Tottenham have discussed potential loan with buy option for Daniel James with Leeds last week – not an easy deal, also Everton asked for Dan. Situation remains open, it’s up to the player – Leeds would be happy to keep James.”
While it is true that Antonio Conte has stated his desire to sign a replacement for Bryan Gil before sanctioning the Spain U21 international’s agreed loan to Valencia, considering just how poor James has been for Leeds since his £25m move from Manchester United last summer, the argument that the Welshman’s signing would be his biggest mistake yet is an easy one to make.
Indeed, according to FBref, the £16.2m-rated forward ranks in the bottom 28% of attacking midfielders and wingers in Europe’s big five leagues and European competitions for non-penalty goals per 90, as well as the bottom 37% for assists, the bottom 8% for xG assisted – xG which follows a pass that assists a shot – and the bottom 6% for shot-creating actions over the last 365 days.
Furthermore, the 34-cap international also ranks in the bottom 1% for passes attempted per 90, in addition to the bottom 5% for passes completed, the bottom 9% for progressive passes, the bottom 21% for progressive carries and the bottom 4% for dribbles completed over the past 12 months.
The £50k-per-week forward once again fails to impress in his defensive metrics, ranking in the bottom 30% for interceptions per 90, as well as the bottom 32% for blocks, the bottom 42% for aerial duels won and the bottom 49% for tackles over the last year.
As such, with James evidently being ineffective in the final third, poor in both his passing and carrying of the ball and underwhelming when working back in a defensive capacity, exactly what Paratici has seen in the 24-year-old to identify him as a suitable match for Conte’s squad is very much up for debate.
However, one thing that would seem much more certain is that should the Italian sporting director go on to agree a loan with a £20m option to buy the Welshman in the coming days, it would undoubtedly be his biggest mistake at Tottenham to date after an impressive transfer haul throughout 2022 so far.