James spent the second half of the season on loan at Barnsley as he finally managed to put a horrific 19 months of injury behind him, during which he feared he might never play again.
"The one doubt about him was his durability to play and train," said Shakespeare to the Leicester Mercury. "Having spoken to the Barnsley staff, he never missed a day's training.
"It was an ideal opportunity for him to get games. Now he wants to cement a place in our first team.
"I am sure he will be given every opportunity because we all know what a quality player he is.
"I think the question mark over him was his fitness. Now he has that durability in him, that robustness to train and play, he has come back and I can see in his mentality he is really pleased with how it has gone."