Swansea City made a huge call last week by blocking Dan James’ move to Leeds United on deadline-day, with Graham Potter welcoming the winger back into his squad ahead of Saturday’s clash with Millwall.
James looked almost certain to be joining Leeds, undergoing a medical with the Whites and reportedly sitting around at Elland Road waiting for the deal to be finalised.
However, after the 11pm deadline a statement came from Swansea confirming James would be staying put after they failed to reach ‘suitable terms’ with their West Yorkshire rivals.
The supporters at Swansea got their wish with James staying, whilst Leeds were left frustrated after missing out on a key target. However, the person to consider most in this situation is James, a young footballer still learning his way in the game.
Swansea had all-but signed off the player and an announcement of his arrival at Leeds seemed inevitable as we approached 11pm last Thursday. It never came and James is now back in Wales without a long-term contract behind him.
The 21-year-old will now be sat wondering whether the Swans will look to extend that contract in the coming months, or if Leeds will be back in for him in the summer, with The Mirror reporting that the Whites still hold an interest in the winger.
Those at Leeds, as well as James’ agent, David Manasseh, pointed the finger of blame at Swansea for the collapse of the deal. And, whilst that’s understandable, the Elland Road club can’t be free of all blame.
The Whites were interested in James for weeks, but they allowed negotiations to stretch to a point of no return, with the summer now the earliest opportunity they’ll get to sign James. For that reason, they are to blame too.
So, for James, who will be trying his hardest to focus on Saturday’s clash with Millwall, it will have been a difficult week and one that he won’t have experienced before in his short career.
His future remains up in the air and the blame lies with Swansea and Leeds.