James, 23, moved to Elland Road on Deadline Day for an initial fee of £25million – which could rise to £30million with add-ons.
The winger’s switch to West Yorkshire has been a long time in the making; he almost joined Marcelo Bielsa’s side in January 2019 only for a deal to collapse when Swansea pulled the plug at the last minute.
Instead, James remained at the Liberty Stadium until later that summer when he completed a £15million move to United, who were then placing a focus on recruiting youth.
He made 74 appearances in total for Red Devils and gained the trust of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in some of the club’s biggest matches, starting against both Chelsea and Manchester City last season.
Ultimately, though, James failed to nail down a regular starting spot at Old Trafford, and when United receive a bid of £25million for the Welshman, it was just too good to turn down.
Club legend Ferdinand was one of the midfielder’s biggest supporters during his time in Manchester, and although he believes James wasn’t quite “Man Utd standard”, he predicts he will do well at Elland Road.
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“They’ve been on him for ages, they’ve wanted this boy for time”, Ferdinand told his YouTube channel.
“Listen, Dan James, I don’t think he’s Man United standard, but he’s definitely Premier League standard and the way Leeds play, he’s going to be a problem for a few teams.
“The kid in that team will be getting the ball and getting forward quick, and that suits his game. When you have to break down two banks of four like Man United that doesn’t suit James’ game, he likes space.
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“But yeah, Leeds United for Dan James will be a fantastic move for both parties.”
James has already made two Premier League appearances this season, including for United against Leeds on the opening day of the season.
He could make his Whites debut in Sunday’s match against Liverpool.