Dan James admits to mistake before sealing Leeds transfer from Man Utd
Daniel James has admitted he lost sight of the reason he was signed for Manchester United following his deadline day move to Leeds.
The Welsh winger finally completed his transfer to Elland Road on deadline day, more than two years after a move to the West Yorkshire club from Swansea City broke down at the final minute.
His transfer came after it was confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo would sensationally return to the Red Devils, 12 years after leaving for Real Madrid.
Ronaldo's arrival at Old Trafford left United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with excess attacking options and James sought an opportunity to sign for the club he previously came so close to playing for.
The 23-year-old signed a five-year deal with Leeds and has been tipped by many to shine in Marcelo's Bielsa's high octane, relentless system.
James did not blossom at United after a promising start following his move in 2019.
He made 26 Premier League starts in his first season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but struggled for game time and form with just 11 league starts in his second campaign.
The forward struggled for consistency in his final full season, and believes he should have taken more risks in his own game rather than focusing on is competition.
“I think everyone goes through part of their career where you don’t realise something is happening until you look back and have good people around you to analyse that,” he told the Telegraph.
Will James be a success at Leeds United? Let us know in the comments below
“I started thinking, ‘What does he do that I can do?’ rather than thinking just about my game and being myself. It got to the point where I was being a bit safe in games.
“I got bought for my direct play, running in behind, running with the ball, trying things and not being afraid to lose the ball but slowly I started to come away from that and play a little safe.
“When I stepped back it was remembering to be direct, to be that person.
"Safe is dangerous in the position I play. You’re not there to do that - you’re there to score goals and make assists and run yourself into the ground on and off the ball.”
James' electric pace makes him a direct threat for defences and he will no doubt feel valued at the club who have coveted him for a long period.
"It is no secret that Daniel is a player we have been keen to acquire for a number of years and today we achieved our goal," Leeds director of football Victor Orta said after his arrival.
"As a player we feel Daniel is an excellent fit for a Marcelo Bielsa team, he is quick, direct and works hard - we look forward to him joining up with the squad, finally!"