The Leeds United loanee opened up about how his initial move to the club in 2019 fell through.
James recalled how close the move was to being completed, to the point where he already had pictures holding up a Leeds shirt waiting for his signing announcement. Swansea City chairman, Huw Jenkins, unfortunately pulled the plug at the last minute. The Welshman said, he was so frustrated because of it, that he threw his phone in the boardroom.
James ended up at Manchester United that summer, spending two seasons before eventually joining Leeds in 2021. He made 35 appearances last season, and played five games this season before joining Fulham on deadline day. The 25-year old says he’s learnt life lessons from the incident:
“At the time, it was January and I wasn’t really too keen about leaving Swansea,” explained James.
“I was in a good place, it was my first season. I wasn’t offered a new contract there and I come in to Leeds and it was a massive opportunity. The things I got shown, the analysis they did into me, I was mesmerised by and I was really excited to join them. After that, it went to deadline day and I couldn’t quite believe it.
“I remember throwing my phone in the boardroom. It was really annoying and I always look back at that moment and think stuff like that, things always happen for a reason.
“It’s definitely difficult. We [James and his partner] create great friends in Leeds and then I’ve done two deadline days where the day before or both times I never thought that I would be at a different club and then the next day, within 24 hours, it just changes like that. That’s football for you.”
Daniel James is under contract at Leeds United till June 2026.