Swansea City boss Graham Potter has heaped praise on winger Daniel James’ eye-catching performance at the weekend, less than a month after the Wales international was set to leave the club and move to Leeds United.
The 21-year-old lit up the Liberty Stadium in the Swans’ 4-1 demolition of Brentford in Sunday’s FA Cup fifth-round clash, showing his searing pace and close control as he ran the length of the pitch to find the back of the net.
James’ form this campaign – in which he has made 24 appearances in all competitions – attracted the interest of Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa last month, who was close to swooping for the winger on deadline day.
Ultimately, the Whites’ attempt to take the Welshman on loan until the end of the season with the option to buy him outright for more than £5 million – if they won promotion to the Premier League – was not enough to convince Swansea to sanction the deal.
However, with James’ contract due to expire in 2020, the Swans will be keen to tie down the winger to a long-term contract, though Leeds’ continued interest may prove to be an issue.
Potter spoke glowingly of the 21-year-old and of his desire to see the Welshman commit his future to the Liberty Stadium outfit.
“You forget that these things happen in transfer windows where clubs don’t agree a price,” the Swans boss told Dai Sport.
“You can see why on that performance, the numbers are too low, that’s the reality in my opinion. He’s got lots to work on but he had an end product today and I thought he was sensational.
“Once that happens he just gets on with being a footballer, he’s been incredible for us and we’re looking forward to working with him for the future. He was ok today, wasn’t he? The ability to sprint repeatedly, it’s as high a level as you’re going to see.”
“The answer is yes, but it’s not as simple as that. All parties have to agree. It’s a process, you have to make sure everybody’s happy”, Potter added.
“In the meantime, my responsibility as a head coach is to help him play football, to carry on with his career and to reach his potential because he’s still got a lot to do.
“But as you see today, he’s not playing against bad players, they’re not physically weak defenders, but he leaves them for dust.”