Is Leeds United the perfect place for Daniel James to fulfil his potential?
The 2021 summer transfer window was a stunning one all around, but it may live particularly long in the memory of Wales supporters. The Welsh have had to watch as one of the country’s most precocious talents wasted away on the periphery of the Manchester United squad for the last two seasons. Now, however, Daniel James has finally linked up with a manager who has long admired him and who will surely nurture the player to his full potential.
Bielsa’s Rigorous Analysis Always Favoured James Marcelo Bielsa tends to stubbornly set his sights on players and then refuse to listen to alternatives. During every transfer window, while in charge at Leeds United, the Argentinian tactician has given his own shortlist of players to the club’s director of football, Victor Orta.
James has been the coach’s number one target since he first witnessed him in a Swansea shirt in the 2018-19 Championship campaign, and Orta came close to completing a deal in the January window of 2019. It fell through at the last minute that time, but now, Leeds finally have their man.
Bielsa is renowned for his in-depth tactical analysis, which consists of watching countless hours of footage of his ideal players. He compiles a vast amount of data and examines it to see how potential signings could operate in his optimal system. The 66-year-old has always been adamant that James’ attributes would be perfectly suited to the Leeds attacking style, which is why he has never given up on acquiring the player.
Analytical Methods from Other Industries Spreading Into Football Bielsa’s in-depth analysis is an example of how data is being used in a variety of industries to improve and enhance the way things are done. The Leeds manager could be compared to the algorithms found in the entertainment industry that help improve general services for users. For instance, the technology used on YouTube helps the platform recommend ideal videos to its users, creating a tailored experience for everyone.
In the online casino industry, there are experts and bots that scour thousands of pages to find the best bonuses and then inform players about them. Bonusfinder is a good example of this. When players visit their website, they are faced with a diverse selection of competitive welcome bonuses, no deposit schemes and incentives at various online casinos. With all the important data laid out accessibly for users, all they have to do is click the link that takes their fancy and then start playing.
James Could Flourish Under Bielsa One of the facets that make Bielsa so successful and lauded as a manager is his way of knowing how to get the best out of each of his players. Patrick Bamford spoke of how his past managers barely knew anything about him, but when he met with Bielsa, the manager had already drawn up a detailed dossier on his entire playing career.
The Leeds manager is likely to have a similar set of archives on James, and he will have already worked out what he needs to teach the Welshman to take him to the next level.
Bielsa has turned seemingly average Championship players into world-beaters, with Kalvin Phillips being a great example of how the Argentine’s coaching can extract and elevate talent. It's highly likely that El Loco will do something similar with James, and this will hopefully turn him into the natural successor to Gareth Bale for Wales.