Leeds United have a firm interest in Hwang Hee-chan but they may need to move an underperforming star on to sign him this week…
What’s the word?
It’s thought that director of football Victor Orta would need to shift Daniel James on if he’s to seal a move for the South Korean sensation, who previously worked under Jesse Marsch at RB Salzburg.
Would Hwang be better than James?
Bye-bye Dan James
The Wales international has certainly struggled since his £25m move from Manchester United last summer and this weekend’s defeat to Brighton and Hove Albion was another cold reminder that he may just not be good enough for a regular spot in the big time.
After being the only attacker to not contribute in the stunning 3-0 win over Chelsea, James was practically anonymous on Saturday, where he managed just an hour before being hooked by Marsch.
As per SofaScore, the 24-year-old managed only seven accurate passes in that time, failed to provide a successful cross or even a shot and lost possession once every 3.8 touches.
It’s no wonder LeedsLive contributor Conor McGilligan dubbed him a “headless chicken” earlier in the week amid shock transfer interest from Tottenham Hotspur.
James is yet to score or assist in 2022/23 and it continues his dire run of form from the back-end of last season, where he failed to score in any of his final 14 appearances – a time where Leeds needed him most as they were in an intense dogfight for top-flight safety.
Hwang has also suffered from an indifferent spell in the big time but under Marsch, he enjoyed his best football.
As per Transfermarkt, the South Korean frontman provided 16 goals and 24 assists across 43 appearances under the American, though he’s yet to translate that into the Premier League, where he has only scored or assisted seven goals.
Once described as an “exceptional” player with “brutal dynamism” by his former head coach Peter Zeidler, Hwang could refind that lucrative form by moving to Elland Road to play for a manager that knows him better than anyone else.
The 26-year-old, also dubbed an “exciting talent” by journalist Nathan Judah, could well be the perfect upgrade on James as he’s more capable of leading the line, whilst being equally adept on the wing.
This move is one that just makes sense for Leeds and their manager, so Orta must shift James on and replace him with Hwang before next Thursday’s 11pm deadline.