Out-on-loan Leeds United winger Dan James has earned criticism from Wales Online for his cameo role during Wales’ dismal 2-0 defeat to Iran on Friday – almost completely ending Wales’ hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages.

James, 25, was the only change from the 1-1 draw against USA. He started that game, but was hooked at half-time for Kieffer Moore. The introduction of the Bournemouth striker completely changed the game for Wales, earning a point.

Against Iran, that substitution remained in the starting line-up. James was omitted from the 11, and in came Moore. Wales were arguably the better side in the first 45, but Iran completely dominated in the second half. They won 2-0.

The two goals came deep into injury time after Wales had goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey sent off. Aaron Ramsey was withdrawn and Wales could not recover, eventually losing the game. It means, Wales are likely to be knocked out.

A brilliant result though, for USA. With a point on the board, they know that a win over Iran – regardless of tonight’s result against England – will be enough to see them qualify. Wales Online gave their player ratings immediately after.

Wales v IR Iran: Group B - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

Out-on-loan Leeds winger James earns criticism for Wales cameo

James came on in the 58th minute, but really struggled to show any kind of end product. Hard work, but nothing to show for it. Something Leeds fans will recognise, having scored just four goals in 40 games for Leeds.

Earning just 4/10 for his 32 minutes of normal time on the pitch, Wales Online said: “Definitely gave Wales an outlet further up the pitch when he came on. But, as is often the case, that end product was just lacking.”

As stated, it is not the first time Leeds fans have seen James work hard and get into a couple of good positions. But then, fail to show the quality required to make it count. It was part of the reason Jesse Marsch sent him out on loan.

Wales could of course, still beat England. If the Three Lions beat USA tonight, they might play a weakened side to rest their best players against Wales – handing Rob Page’s side more of a chance. But it is unlikely for the Welsh and James.

Wales v IR Iran: Group B - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

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