Leeds could land dream James partner in £50k-p/w Premier League “wizard”

While three wins from three has proven the perfect way to start 2024 for Leeds United, manager Daniel Farke will still be aware that there is much work still to do in order to bridge the gap between his rampant side and Ipswich Town in second.

With seven points separating the Whites and Kieran McKenna’s high-flying outfit – with Southampton also now firmly in the picture – the Yorkshire giants really will need to put a consistent run of form together over the coming weeks and months if they are to mount a proper push for automatic promotion.

To aid that challenge, Farke is likely to require further reinforcements to help bolster a squad that was depleted by numerous departures over the summer, albeit with the only activity so far this month having been further outgoings, in the form of Djed Spence, Darko Gyabi and Luke Ayling.

Although that peripheral trio were happily shown the door by the Elland Road side, there may be fears that the squad has so far been weakened rather than strengthened in the winter window – despite the positive news that teenage sensation Archie Gray has signed a new ‘long-term deal’ at the club.

The hope will be that fresh faces will arrive before the close of the window at the start of next month, with numerous targets having already been mentioned in recent weeks, including a sparkling talent who is currently operating in the Premier League.

Leeds eyeing ex-Sheffield United man

According to Phil Hay of The Athletic, while Farke and co are prioritising the signing of at least one new full-back – amid the departures of Spence and Ayling – there could also be a fresh face to bolster the attacking ranks, in the form of Bournemouth’s David Brooks.

As per Hay’s recent report, Leeds believe an ‘extra attacking midfielder’ may prove ‘useful’ between now and the end of the season, with Brooks – who left Yorkshire rivals Sheffield United back in 2018 – said to be a ‘player of interest’.


The Cherries are, however, wary of allowing the 26-year-old to depart on loan this month, although Hay suggested that such a stance could ‘soften’ as the window edges towards its climax, offering hope that a deal for the Wales international could be wrapped up.

Although the 5 foot 8 playmaker has been restricted to just two league starts this season, he will likely be raring to go to prove his talents once again with a consistent run of game time.

How David Brooks would fit in at Leeds

For much of the campaign so far, Farke has experimented with more unorthodox options in the number ten berth, with former Swansea City striker Joel Piroe featuring predominantly in that role, while fellow forward Georginio Rutter has also taken on that challenge in recent weeks.

Being able to acquire a more natural fit in that role behind the striker, such as Brooks, would certainly be a wise move, with the “Welsh wizard” – as described by the Bournemouth Echo’s Jack Tynner – typically operating in an attacking midfield berth or on the flanks in his senior career to date.

Once on the books at Bramall Lane – where he registered 11 goals and assists in just 37 games for the Blades – the Warrington-born ace has now almost spent six years at the Vitality Stadium, albeit having seen much of that spell cruelly hampered after being diagnosed with cancer back in October 2021.

To his credit, Brooks has bravely fought his way back to establish himself as part of Andoni Iraola’s first-team squad, producing a respectable haul of two goals and one assist in 16 games in all competitions this season, despite largely being utilised off the bench.

For Leeds, if a deal is to be struck, they will be hoping to coax out the type of performances that the 27-cap international had shown prior to his spell on the sidelines, notably registering 11 goals and assists in the Championship in 2020/21, as well as previously scoring seven goals and contributing five assists in the Premier League in 2018/19.

Brooks’ 2020/21 Championship record

32 games (25 starts)

5 goals

6 assists

6 ‘big chances’ created

1.1 key passes per game

79% pass accuracy rate

1.4 fouls won per game

1 successful dribble per game

Stats via Sofascore

Evidently a player who can unlock a defence with a piece of creative magic – having created nine ‘big chances’ in that debut season at Bournemouth – as well as also being able to find the back of the net himself, Brooks would provide another weapon to Farke’s attacking arsenal.

The hope would be that he could also strike up a partnership with his international colleague, Daniel James, with the former Manchester United man currently flourishing under the one-time Norwich City boss.

Daniel James’ season by numbers

It is fair to say that James has finally found a home for himself this season after a turbulent last few years, with the oft-maligned winger having established himself as a key figure for the promotion hopefuls.


The 26-year-old had endured a difficult two years or so after joining from the Red Devils in 2021, scoring just four goals in his debut season at Elland Road, before being shipped off on loan to Fulham last term – where he netted just three times in 23 appearances.

With the likes of Jack Harrison and Luis Sinisterra no longer at the club, however, James has taken his chance under the new regime, scoring nine goals and registering six assists in 25 league games – the best return of his senior career so far.

Farke can then combine the winger’s “raw pace” – as hailed by Ryan Giggs – with Brooks’ majestic midfield quality, with the latter man having previously been lauded by former Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe for his “creative flair” as he can “do a little bit of everything”.


Leeds eyeing £4m-rated gem who’s “like Riyad Mahrez” to partner Summerville

The Whites are seemingly keen to strengthen their ranks this month, amid their hunt for promotion.

The £50k-per-week talent may still be in the process of getting back to his prior elite levels, yet surrounded by familiar faces – such as James, Joe Rodon and Ethan Ampadu – he could well flourish in the second tier at Elland.

Not just then a dream partner for James, Brooks could also represent a dream January signing for the Yorkshire side.

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