Dan James is reportedly set to remain at Leeds United this summer when he returns from his loan at Fulham, even if we find ourselves in the Championship – and the Welshman could be like a new signing if we do suffer relegation.

The 25-year-old remains on the books at Leeds until the summer of 2026, having joined Leeds back in 2021. But last summer, his Elland Road move looked set to have come to an end – when he was offloaded on loan to Fulham.

Leeds replaced him with Willy Gnonto – and while Victor Orta has been criticised for his Leeds spell, Gnonto is very much a highlight. But Fulham are unlikely to sign 43-time Wales star permanently, after his form for the Cottagers.

He has been in and out of the side, managing just 22 outings – scoring three goals. Fulham are unlikely to spend the cash necessary to sign him, with Leeds probably preferring to keep him rather than making a loss on the £25m fee.

Leeds Live reporter Beren Cross claims this week that if we are relegated, James is likely to stay at Elland Road this summer. But it could prove to be a blessing in disguise – James is the spark needed to secure an instant return.

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James set to remain at Leeds: Could be like a new signing if we go down

Just look at his one proper season in the Championship. Of his 39 senior Swansea games, 38 came in the 2018-19 season. The season in which James almost joined Leeds in the January, joining Manchester United in the summer.

He had a hand in 16 goals in 39 games. Scoring six – something which has never been James’ forte – he laid on 10 assists. His form earned him an Old Trafford move. Says it all. His speed is crucial for territory, not only numbers.

If Leeds go down, and £52k-a-week James remains at Elland Road for the Championship, then it will be like a new signing. A player that has sparkled in the Championship and since the 18-19 season, has got better. He could shine.

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