Leeds United director of football Victor Orta has revealed how data highlighted the neccessity to try and sign Daniel James from Swansea.
The Wales international moved to Manchester United in the summer transfer window, six months after a proposed move to Elland Road collapsed at the final hurdle.
James was even pictured holding up a Leeds shirt with his name on it before Swansea cancelled the deal in the January transfer window.
The 22-year-old had impressed Leeds officials with his performances in the Championship, and now Orta has revealed how a dive into the player’s stats made him a priority transfer target.
“I don’t tell any secrets about the Daniel James situation,” he told Sky Sports News.
“We detected first from the human eye, about the UK recruitment about Daniel James, that he would fit with our style – and Marcelo Bielsa totally agreed.
“It’s true that, at that moment, he had only played 14 games in the Championship and we were trying to find more accuracy. I asked for a report from a company in football analytics and in this moment Daniel James had zero goals and one or two assists.
“They made a big report about expected goals and expected assists and they predicted he would finish the season with six or seven goals and eight assists, and it was a step that (meant) I felt more comfortable making that decision.
“First was the scout – the eye – thinking this player can fit for us. But this report gave me more accuracy to propose to the board that this player can be a fit for January.
“Then in the end what happened was (the deal) not finished and Daniel James did play for Leeds United. But I always have this report as an example of a good use of data.”