|Image from Wallpaperflare|
- Name: Daniel James
- Date of Birth (Age): 10 November 1997 (22)
- Signed: 1 July 2019
- Appearances: 46
- Goals: 4
- Assists: 7
- Contract till: 30th June 2024
Daniel James had a relatively poor season but is judged too harshly by fans. He was signed for 15 million pounds and was bought in as a squad player by Solskjaer on the recommendation of Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs. Over the course of season he eventually lost his place to United Academy product Mason Greenwood who turned out to be lethal striking force equalising the records of likes of George Best and Wayne Rooney. Impressions from Daniel James’ first season quite clearly display the lack of quality you’d expect from a Red Devil.
He is not clinical enough in front of goal and often hits the ball badly. Moreover, as a dribbler a player should be able to dribble past the full-backs and create opportunities from flank, but Daniel James has one of the worst dribbling success rates in the league and that clearly showed up in games as he was incapable of completing take-ons against the weakest of the oppositions.
|Daniel James was among the worst dribblers in Premier League 2019-20 (Image from Sportlife)|
Now coming onto why his criticism was a tad bit too harsh –
Well, no one ever expected James to be in the starting line-up. He is still an unfinished product that needs to be worked on. Solskjaer most probably got him for cup games and rotation on rare occasions but that didn’t happen. Lack of right-wingers in the team forced James to start significantly more number of games than you’d expect a rotation player to. Despite the harsh circumstances, the 22-year-old managed more than 10 goal contributions throughout the season, 9 of which came in the Premier League. Yes, he might not have scored a league goal for one year now, but then, did we really expect out of a £15 million player?
Overall – 6.5/10
Ambitions for next season
Realistically speaking, we are shambles down the right-wing. James’ awful performances saw emergence of Greenwood, but we can only expect so much from him given his age. He was outstanding but the need for proper right-winger is real. We have created most of our chances from left flank and that has made our game too predictable over the course of season. The club needs to buy a right-winger on an urgent basis if they want to compete for the top spot next season alongside ensuring that James gets proper development and competition. Solskjaer’s disappointment was clearly visible during Europa League fixtures and later half of the season when he tried avoiding substitutes or reluctantly used them when he had no other choice left. If our transfer board is even a little ambitious, they should bring in Sancho for whatever it takes.
Club has recently shown some activity in the transfer market with the signing of Donny van de Beek and that has to continue for getting Sancho over the line as well. As of James, I don’t feel he needs to be sold as of now. Let him compete with the better players and build himself, maybe that’ll bring the best side of his. Moreover, most of James’ best performances have come from the left flank, which means that the arrival of Sancho won’t make his presence useless but instead balance our squad more.