Daniel James’ first season as a Leeds United player is over.
The Whites’ campaign ended in dramatic fashion, with Jesse Marsch’s men sealing their Premier League fate with a nervy win over Brentford in west London. Burnley were the team condemned to the drop, and the huge sighs of relief at the Brentford Community Stadium were no doubt heard back in Yorkshire last weekend.
When the dust settles and the celebrations die down, those at Elland Road will reflect on this campaign not as a success but as one of danger avoided by the narrowest of margins.
READ MORE: What Daniel James said in dressing room after horror red card vs Chelsea
Players under-performed across the board and it is fair to say that Wales star James hasn’t quite lived up the billing since his £25million move from Manchester United last summer.
The former Swansea City winger was the talk of the transfer window back then, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho’s arrival at Old Trafford pushing James towards the exit door. When Leeds finally sealed the signature of the 23-year-old, it brought to an end a highly-publicised chase which began in his Swans days.
Just before he moved across the Pennines, James’ true transfer value, according to the experts at CIES Football Observatory, was somewhere in the region of €50-70million (£43-60million) when calculated in May last year.
CIES use a complex matrix to work out transfer values, taking into account a number of variables such as contract duration, performance, age, career progression, international status, inflation and club level and wealth.
Using the same tool algorithm now sees that James’ value has dropped dramatically after his year at Elland Road. He is now worth in the region of €30-40million, according to the same website.
The drop-off is likely down to the fact James is now playing for a team further down the foodchain than Manchester United and his form has not been as consistent as he would like, playing in a side operating at the wrong end of the Premier League table.
James was recently linked with a move to Italian side Atalanta, who were monitoring the winger’s situation amid Leeds’ relegation scrap. The fact they preserved their top-flight status may mean matters have changed. He is contracted until the summer of 2026.
The attacker is currently in Wales camp preparing for their crucial World Cup play-off match against either Scotland or Ukraine next Sunday. James sat out the last two matches of Leeds’ season having been sent off in the heavy defeat against Chelsea.