"Never a striker in a million years" - Kevin Phillips slams Leeds' decision to sign Daniel James from Manchester United

Former Manchester United and current Leeds United forward Daniel James.
Former Manchester United and current Leeds United forward Daniel James.
Anantaajith Ra

Former Premier League striker Kevin Phillips has criticized Leeds United for signing former Manchester United forward Daniel James. James was signed by Leeds for around £25 million in the summer.

However, the Welshman has failed to deliver the goods so far. James has often been deployed down the center by Marcelo Bielsa due to Patrick Bamford's injury, which has been a major reason for his struggles. He has scored just one goal and assisted twice in 18 matches across all competitions for Leeds this term.

Daniel James officially departs Manchester United for Leeds United in a £25 million deal.Best of luck in the future Dan!#MUFC #DeadlineDay #DanJames

Kevin Phillips has now criticized the Peacocks' decision to sign James from Manchester United. Speaking to Football Insider, Phillips was quoted as saying:

“I thought it would backfire if they didn’t bring in that other recognised goalscorer – and it has. He’s played Dan James down the middle, but he’s never a striker in a million years.”

The former European Golden Boot winner went on to add:

“I’ve said that all along. I don’t think that was an area which needed strengthening. You’ve got Jack Harrison and Raphinha, two quality players – as well as others who can fill in.”

Phillips believes the former Manchester United winger is simply "papering over the cracks" at an injury-ravaged Leeds outfit this season. The Welshman also picked up a knock during their humiliating 7-0 reverse against Manchester City last week and missed their 4-1 home loss against Arsenal.

Leeds United's injury issues compounded by relentless fixture list

Leeds United have picked up just two wins in their last 11 Premier League fixtures. After their stellar display last season, the Peacocks now have to nervously look over their shoulders as they seem to be flirting with relegation.

Their season began on the wrong foot with a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Manchester United. Since then, the upsides have been few and far between for Bielsa's side this season.

FT | Manchester United 5-1 Leeds UnitedWhat a start to the season 😤Pogba and Fernandes were instrumental in today's clash which sees Man United go top of the Premier League standings 👏#PL | #MUNLEE

Leeds have not been helped by their constantly mounting injury list either. Patrick Bamford, Liam Cooper and Kalvin Phillips are the major absentees for the Peacocks. Diego Llorente, Pascal Struijk and Rodrigo have also missed a sizeable number of games.

Youngsters Jamie Shackleton and Charlie Cresswell are injured as well, while Jack Harrison limped off the pitch during the defeat to Arsenal. The concerning list of injuries and the lack of depth to cover for the players has been compounded by a horror fixture list.

In their last three matches, Leeds have played Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal. They face Liverpool next before taking on an upbeat Aston Villa to close the year. With much of their starting core unlikely to return soon, the Peacocks could even fall into the relegation zone by the end of January.

Edited by Diptanil Roy
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