Leeds United broke their club-record fee during the summer transfer window but things have not gone to plan ever since.
The Yorkshire giants find themselves sitting perilously in 16th place, just five points above the relegation zone, having gone close to challenging for a place in Europe last season.
Marcelo Bielsa has suffered from persistent injury problems off the pitch throughout the entire campaign but that doesn’t completely excuse their poor and inconsistent displays on it.
He finally got his man, landing Daniel James from Manchester United in a £30m deal, some 18 months after his move from Swansea City in the Championship fell through.
However, the 24-year-old Wales international has been hugely underwhelming – a worrying sign considering the considerable sum that chairman Andrea Radrizzani invested in him.
Of the ten players to have started at least ten of their 17 league games, James ranks seventh-worst for average WhoScored rating (6.49), having provided only one goal and one assist in 14 appearances.
As a creative influence in the side, there are seven better options, with the 5 foot 7 winger offering only 0.8 key passes per game, whilst he has struggled to deliver goals in the absence of leading talisman Patrick Bamford.
That shocking form has led to plenty of criticism, particularly from Darren Bent, who slammed him to Football Insider: “The only thing about Dan James at times, for me, he’s a little bit headless.
“He’s shown great potential, when he first went to United he played really well, scored a few goals but at times he for me he’s fouled or he shoots sometimes when he should pass it, he’ll pass when he should shoot.”
As such, he has seen his value decrease immensely with Transfermarkt now rating him at just £16.2m. Leeds’ fifth most-expensive player.
That’s a decrease of 46% in the space of just six months, a worrying prospect and one that is sure to leave Radrizzani absolutely fuming. Director of football Victor Orta has had a mare with this transfer, thus far.
AND in other news, Bielsa dealt gutting Leeds United transfer blow ahead of January…