Before Leighton Baines signed a new one-year deal at Everton, the Toffees were looking at full-backs to operate as backup to Lucas Digne and Seamus Coleman. Despite having Jonjoe Kenny, Brendan Galloway, Antonee Robinson, Matty Foulds and Luke Garbutt to choose from, Marco Silva didn’t appear to be content with the quartet and was linked with numerous defenders.
Luton Town’s Justin James was one of them, but their hopes of landing his signature have been dealt a major blow as Leicester agreed a deal for the 21-year-old on Tuesday evening. Since rising through the youth ranks to the Luton first-team in 2016, James has gone on to make 114 appearances in all competitions, scoring and creating 19 goals.
But with only one year on his deal at Kenilworth Road, Luton were forced to cash in on James rather than risk losing him for nothing in 2020. At one point, it appeared Everton were looking to capitalise on the situation, but they turned their attentions elsewhere.
Their loss could be Leicester’s gain, as James is rated highly – Aston Villa and Crystal Palace were interested in the defender. James can operate at left-back and right-back and would have provided versatility at the back for Everton.