Leeds United and Dan James was the story of January, as Marcelo Bielsa longed to sign the Welsh winger in a bid to add pace and potential to his ranks as he searched for the golden ticket to promotion out of the Championship.
Bristol City’s Callum O’Dowda was touted as a potential alternative, while Wolverhampton Wanderers Ivan Cavaleiro’s name also emerged on the Whites’ radar, but it was James and only James that Bielsa wanted.
Negotiations with Swansea City were far from straightforward, though, as Graham Potter wanted to retain the international wide man at the Liberty Stadium, and fought against our advances right up until Deadline Day.
As the winter window crept to a close, there seemed to be a breakthrough as James travelled to Elland Road to carry out his medical, finalise contract negotiations, and wait for the green light from the Swans before putting pen to paper.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be, as Swansea pulled the plug at the eleventh hour, noting they were unhappy with the financial structure of the loan-to-buy arrangement, that would have seen United pay an initial £1.5million with a further £7million on hold with the provision of securing promotion.
Just how close James came to becoming a Leeds player, though, was disastrous for all in West Yorkshire, and the player himself, as he was forced to take some time off after the window slammed shut to reset his head.
Now, as part of the ‘Take Us Home’ Amazon Prime Video documentary series, images have shown the youngster, nowadays of Manchester United, at Elland Road, holding last season’s home jersey, with a beaming smile across his face.
Here’s how these Whites supporters reacted to the footage, as the documentary series became public on August 16…
no not that photo please no
— Freddie Chambers #FBPE (@ChambersFred) August 15, 2019
It’s going to be one of those that haunts us over the years I reckon
— Chris Richards (@crichardsuk) August 15, 2019
Thats what promotion looks like and how close it was, first nail in our promotion coffin last year
— Nigel Walton (@nigelwalton01) August 15, 2019
@claudesonfire what could have been…
— Chris Barnes (@LeoDensian) August 15, 2019
Obviously knew he wasn’t staying didn’t take his coat off!
— Tony Phelan (@Tonyjlp1) August 15, 2019
As a Welsh Leeds fan this cuts very deep ????
— Luke (@TurfLUFC) August 15, 2019
Wonder if it shows orta and radz staring at a fax machine for 12 hours with a slow panic emerging
— FFP (@robhlufc) August 15, 2019
In all seriousness it was horrible to watch that last moment when he is told to pack up. Victor was distraught too.
— Albert (@Albertlufc) August 16, 2019
Hopefully this moment right here publicly humiliates Swansea #lufc
— Christopher Ellis (@c_ellis92) August 16, 2019
With Orta having a full on meltdown destroying it after the 11pm deadline.
— Oliver Missin (@ollmissin) August 15, 2019
He’s overrated and we’ll never know if he would of made the difference so can we all stop saying that he would of guaranteed promotion because it’s all hypothetical. ????
— jamie croft ???????? (@CroftLeeds) August 15, 2019
@Pa_Junior_Hehir his one of our own ???????????? documentary worth it just for this
— Sean (@ROI_LUFC) August 16, 2019