UTD Podcast: I believe it happened for a reason
Manchester United winger Daniel James is the latest guest to feature in our UTD Podcast series.
In a brand-new episode released today (Monday), which you can now listen to now via your regular podcast provider, James spoke to co-hosts Sam Homewood, Helen Evans and David May to discuss a range of topics including his United debut and working under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since his move to the club in 2019.
During the podcast, the 23-year-old also talked through the story of how he nearly joined Leeds United just five months before he signed for the Reds, with the move to West Yorkshire failing to materialise in the final moments of the January transfer deadline day.
“Throughout the day it was just about doing the scans. I got to Elland Road at about six o’clock and the window was closing at 11,” the Welsh winger explained.
James: I thought the Leeds deal was done
Daniel reveals all about how he nearly signed for Leeds in 2019, just five months before he proudly became a Red...
“I was watching it [deadline day] on TV, everything was mostly done so it was all eyes on Leeds and if this deal was going to go through. I was just looking at it thinking it’s just surreal.
“I signed all the contract, did the interviews, picked my shirt number, did all the pictures and I thought it was done.
“I then was told it wasn’t done, there was one more piece of paper [that they were waiting for] from Swansea to Leeds for them to agree the deal of how it was going to happen.
“It got to one minute to 11 and I was like ‘what’s going on?’. They came in and Victor [Orta], the chief executive of Leeds came in and was very upset at what had happened.”
With the move to Leeds off, James made the journey back to south Wales where he helped the Swans to a top-half finish in the Championship and to the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup, in the second half of the campaign.
Having got his head down again after returning to the Liberty Stadium, James impressed and finished the season with five goals and 10 assists, before signing for United the following summer.
“It was just about getting back to Swansea and training,” he said. “If I went back and was unhappy it would have been a lot different. But I was just happy to be back and playing.
“I knew I was going to come back and play under the manager, I spoke to him straight away and said ‘my head’s here and I’m just going to carry on playing the way I have all season’ and that’s what I did.
“It really helped me strive to be better towards the end of that season and looking back at it, I believe everything happened for a reason."