On 12th June, 2019, Manchester United announced that they had agreed a deal with Swansea City, for the signing of their highly-rated winger, Daniel James, in a package worth 15 million pounds, to become manager Ole Gunnar Solksjær’s first signing of the summer.
The Welsh international moved to the Theatre of Dreams on the back of a season in which he scored 5 goals and contributed 9 assists in 33 games to help Swansea to a 10th place finish in the Sky Bet Championship.
Though, the deal was widely publicized even before completion, and hence came as a no shock, a section of Man United fans does not think a player of James’ caliber has what it takes to help bring back the glory days back to Old Trafford.
However, I think James is an exciting acquisition as he fits Ole’s desire for “young and hungry” British players. Indeed, his manager at national level, Ryan Giggs was full of his praises at the end of last season.
“He is on fire at the moment,” said the former Wales international.
“He is someone who has got genuine speed and someone who is exciting.
“He can start game or potentially come on and make an impact.
“If you have front players, especially who are feeling confident, that’s always a good thing.”
The left winger, who can also play as right winger, attacking midfielder and a center forward has also earned praises from the his new manager”
“Daniel has already set the marker and the standard on work rate and attitude in training,” said the Norwegian boss.
While Daniel James is yet to prove himself on football’s highest levels, his playing style marks him out as an explosive winger to watch out for in the upcoming season.
He had 0.25 fast break per 90 minutes in the Championship last season, ranking third among all players, and his pace allows him to take dangerous position in the opposition box. Indeed, he had 5.35 touches in the opposition box per 90, a record beaten by only four players in the 2nd tier.
His strength lies in his ability to hold on to the ball; his passing, registering an 81% pass accuracy in the league last season; his ability to create chances, with 1.2 key passes per game; and his dribbling abilities.
For a team like Manchester United who have just had a disappointing season where they scored only 33 goals in 19 home games and finish 6th, Daniel James numbers is reasonably appealing.
If he continues to develop progressively, he surely will go above the likes of Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard in the pecking order for wide players and he might become the most exciting player seen on the flanks in Old Trafford since the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.