Daniel James has joined Manchester United for a fee of around £15 million on a 5 year contract. The 21 year old is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first signing as he looks to overhaul the Red Devil’s side during his first transfer window as official manager. The quick young winger looks to fill clear gaps in United’s right wing position but he doesn’t play just one role. He leaves Swansea City after helping them finish 10th.
James has been capped 3 times for Wales, scoring once. Wales manager Giggs has no doubts that James has the ability to succeed at the top level. “You don’t need to speak to me to see the quality Dan has, especially since the turn of the year”, Giggs said. I wouldn’t be surprised if he played a role in James’ decision to join the Reds.
In 2014 Daniel James joined Swansea from Hull City for £72,000. He played a major role in the U23 side in the Premier League 2 competition. In the 2017/2018 season he was loaned out to Shrewsbury Town in League One, but after only 2 months he was recalled as he failed to break into the team.
James broke into the Swansea first team squad during the 2018/2019 season. However, he didn’t appear for 7 of his first 11 games as he was on the bench or not in the squad. He only made 2 starts and 2 appearances off the bench as he slowly embedded into his first senior season.
After this period to the start of his senior career in the Swansea first team, he became first choice for the majority of the season. He appeared in 29 of remaining 35 games with only a couple of these being from the bench.
James scored on 4 occasions and assisted 7 times in his debut Championship campaign. The Welshman also bagged a goal and an assist in 4 FA Cup appearances.
During the 2019 January transfer window Leeds agreed a deal to sign the winger. The deal would have seen him join on loan till the end of the season with an option to buy him in the region of £10m. However, a disagreement over loan fee payments and the Swansea chairman refusing to sign off the deal. A medical was passed and media work was completed on deadline day but the deal eventually fell through.
James’s scintillating goal against Brentford put him on the radar to those who hadn’t seen him before. He also drew 3 yellow cards in that FA Cup tie. Only Jack Grealish was fouled more times in last season’s campaign.
James’ main asset is his blistering pace. He likes to pick up the ball on the wing and instead of trying to beat his man, he attacks the space. Another trait he had is to cut inside. When played on the left he dribbles inside allowing him to shoot on his right foot or gives space to his left back to overlap. James isn’t bad out of possession. He uses his pace to close down players and is very useful tracking back and helping stop counter attacks. Sometimes he was deployed up front against sides who played out from the back.
Fantasy Football Potential
The youngster has had just a single full season in the Championship and now he’s going to be starting his first season in England’s top division.
James is a versatile player and can play a number of roles at the top of the pitch. At the beginning of the season he played on the right wing where one expects him to be utilised at Man United due to their lack of options. But he was only deployed here 4 times. His main role in the Swansea side was on the left hand side, starting there 23 times. I can’t see him playing on this side from the get go with Antony Martial and even Alexis Sanchez likely to be favoured on that side. James also played up front on 5 occasions but failed to return when in all 5 games. That might be a back up plan for Ole, if no striker is signed to replace the potential sale of Lukaku.
The main role I expect James to play is on the right wing. His main competition comes from Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata (if the latter signs a new contract). That being said I don’t expect to see him play week in week out from the start. Pre-season will be important to see where he’s deployed and if anyone else is signed during the window.
Hopefully James is priced reasonably and that would set up potential for him being an option down the line once we know what Ole first XI is and if an injury crops up. £7.0m seems a fair price considering the premium you pay for a top 6 club. He wouldn’t be a player I would have in my gameweek 1 side. James is definitely one to monitor.
Written by FPL Junior (@FPL_Junior)
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