Leeds United are now reportedly close to signing Daniel James from Manchester United. But what does it mean for Raphinha?
We all know how close James, 23, came to signing for Leeds in January 2019. The Amazon documentary even saw him holding up the no.21 shirt.
Now, Leeds might finally get their man. Italian transfer guru Fabrizio Romano says that the Whites are in advanced talks to sign James.
Romano also states it will be a permanent deal – just hours after The Athletic reported Leeds are open to a £20million move for the winger.
But on the face off it, do Leeds need a winger? Jack Harrison and Raphinha are two of the club’s most-important players. So, how does James fit?
Does Leeds signing James mean Raphinha change?
Watching Raphinha from the right flank over the last 12 months has been a dream for Leeds fans. A genuine player capable of world class quality.
Still young, he has to go down as one of the bargains of Premier League history over the course of the last couple of years.
But signing James for what could be £20million – is hardly going to see the Wales international sit on the bench. He is getting game time at United.
James will only be joining Leeds with the guarantee of playing. So, could 24-year-old Raphinha’s position change after the arrival of James?
Raphinha into the middle, a problem position for Bielsa…
Well, he is more than capable of playing in the 10 – an issue for Leeds since promotion. Rodrigo and Tyler Roberts have not nailed the position down.
Mateusz Klich is good in that role, but is better alongside an attacking midfielder like Rodrigo or Roberts. Klich has been in and out of the side.
Stuart Dallas is first choice in the more defensive of the two in front of Kalvin Phillips – and the place next to him is up for grabs.
So, with the signing of James, surely it is worth trying Raphinha alongside Dallas – with James and Harrison either side, behind Patrick Bamford.