Ayling and Kilgallon send messages to out-on-loan Leeds star as he lands in Qatar
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Ayling and Kilgallon send messages to out-on-loan Leeds star as he lands in Qatar

Dan James and his Wales teammates have landed in Qatar ahead of his country’s first World Cup tournament in 64 years – and the likes of Luke Ayling, Matt Kilgallon and Dom Matteo have responded to the Leeds star’s Instagram.

James, 25, is expected to be a regular in Rob Page’s side at the World Cup, after playing such a crucial part in their qualifying campaign. Wales will also have Kieffer Moore, Brennan Johnson, Gareth Bale and others in the final third.

How Page manages to combine them all, including the on-loan Fulham speedster, remains to be seen. Page has often used a 4-2-3-1 system, and that might see Bale start up top. Ramsey in behind, with Johnson and James on the wings.

It might also be that James drops out, Bale on the wing and Moore up top. Plenty of decisions to make for Page, but the Wales boss and James – along with the rest of the squad – arrived in Qatar on Tuesday. James posted on Instagram.

Ayling and Kilgallon respond to Leeds star James Instagram

Having spent a season at Leeds following a £25million move to Elland Road from Manchester United, James showed glimpses of magic. His brace against Aston Villa, being one. But he was often played out of position by Marcelo Bielsa.

More promising moments of magic looked more possible under Jesse Marsch. But in the summer, following the signing of Luis Sinisterra and then Willy Gnonto, James was sent on loan to Fulham to bolster his World Cup chances.

A move that has paid off. James has booked his place in Page’s squad and has landed in Qatar. Wales get their journey underway on Monday, when they take on USA. They then face Iran, and England. Ayling was among those to react.

He posted “love it my man”. Ex-Leeds defender Kilgallon teased James over Wales’ matching outfits, while Dom Matteo simply posted a heart. His ex-Swansea teammate Oli McBurnie, who was born in Leeds, also commented.

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