Former world champion thinks Bielsa can get more from Leeds new boy

Date published: Friday 3rd September 2021 7:50 - Matthew Briggs

Daniel James, Manchester United winger, pre-season friendly v QPR at Loftus Road

Former IBF world featherweight champion Josh Warrington believes Leeds United will see what Daniel James is all about under Marcelo Bielsa.

James completed a £25m transfer from Manchester United on transfer deadline day and became Leeds’ second most expensive signing in the process. 

It was two-and-a-half-years after Leeds’ bid to sign him from his former club Swansea collapsed at the 11th hour.

James was even pictured in a Leeds shirt before the deal fell through. Instead Man Utd swooped in the summer of 2019, paying £15m, plus £3m in add-ons to Swansea.

James went on to play 74 times for the Old Trafford club, scoring nine times and getting nine assists. However, he could not establish himself as a first-team regular and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer allowed the Wales star to move on.

But Leeds fan Warrington, who faces Mauricio Lara in their featherweight rematch at Headingley on Saturday night, thinks Bielsa can get another level from the 23-year-old.

“You know what, it’s exciting,” Warrington told talkSPORT. “I think it could be a good partnership with him and Raphinha.

“I think he’s got that little twinkle in his eye doing interviews and what not.

“He wanted to sign for Leeds a few years ago and it didn’t happen.

“He’s had a season or two at Man United and he will have grown and learnt a bit, but I think he’s excited to be here and we’ll see another level from him.

“Under Marcelo Bielsa, we’ll see what he’s really capable of doing.”

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Warrington hails Bamford

Warrington also lavished praise on Patrick Bamford who is now in the England squad.

“Prior to my world title fight in 2018, he was a bit lost and his games were inconsistent,” Warrington added.


“Bielsa came in and seemed to bring the best out of him. Since then, well we can’t imagine Leeds United without him in there.

“We all knew what he could but it was about bringing that to the England set-up. And boy did he bring it.

“He brought it and then some more and his game is going to go through the roof as his confidence and mentality. He’s done it at the highest level now.”

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