Wales will be buoyant after rescuing a point in their opening World Cup game after such a poor performance in the first half but Dan James will be frustrated – not least, because he failed to remind Leeds fans what he is capable of.
The 25-year-old left Leeds on loan in the summer. He left the club on deadline day, with the Whites looking to sign another player – which proved to be Willy Gnonto. Of course, we also tried to land Cody Gakpo and Bamba Dieng.
It comes just a year after joining Leeds, playing 40 times and scoring only four goals. At Fulham, his form has been poor, too. Playing only eight games since leaving Leeds on loan, he has started just three times – scoring one goal.
But nevertheless, he was handed the chance to start for Wales on Monday against USA. Rob Page’s side were poor in the first half. James was handed a rating of just 5/10 by Wales Online. He was hooked at half-time.
James failed to remind Leeds fans what he is capable of
With the World looking on, the £25million signing had the chance to really show everyone what he could do. Victor Orta might have been at the top of that list – and Jesse Marsch. He was pushed down the pecking order at Leeds.
Ultimately, that is what made him concerned about his game time ahead of the World Cup – and then loaned out. He had the chance, on the World stage, to show Orta, Marsch, Leeds and the club’s fans that he deserved more games.
A starting spot in the Leeds side. But he failed to do so, struggling to get Wales up the pitch. James worked hard in the Qatar heat, yes. But it was not enough. Tyler Adams confirmed Victor Orta would be at games watching.
If Orta was in the stands as expected, then he will have been much more impressed with the USA skipper, than James. A missed opportunity for James, who may now be benched against England and for the impressive Kieffer Moore.