By Alan Hutton

2nd Nov, 2021 | 7:00pm

James can't cope at Leeds as Bielsa wants him in defence - pundit

Alan Hutton has claimed Dan James is struggling at Leeds United because he can’t cope with his defensive responsibilities.

The former Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the 23-year-old has not adapted to Marcelo Bielsa’s methods after his summer move.

James made his sixth league start of the season against Norwich City, contributing his first assist for the Whites.

However, he struggled to make an impact otherwise, with the fewest touches (27) of any of the Leeds starting XI (WhoScored).

Hutton, who was at Carrow Road for BBC Radio, admitted he was not overly impressed by the winger’s display.

He suggested the Wales international is still not up to speed with Bielsa’s methods and demands.

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Asked where he thought James is struggling the most, Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “To be honest, I think it’s his all-round game.

“Let’s be honest, he’s still adapting to the style and what Bielsa wants from him. He was kind of stuck out on the left for a long period of time.

“Balls were going over his head and he was actually being asked to be a left-back at times. There was one he got caught out and Norwich had a really good opportunity from it.

“After that, Bielsa realised and put him through the middle, tried to utilise his pace.

“I think he’s still adapting to the way they play. It’s man-v-man covering, it can be hectic at times when you’re at the stadium when you’re actually watching it.

“These are things that he has to get used to. He has to get used to it quick because the expectation levels on him are obviously very high.”

In other news, a Leeds United player deal is in line to be terminated.