The resurgence of Daniel James

Daniel James was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first signing, arriving in June 2019 alonside our right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

At only 21 years old, James still has great potential in his career and can achieve great things at both Manchester Untied and his national team, Wales.

Starting off his career at Swansea City in 2014, James played youth-team football. He made his debut for the first-team in February 2018 in the FA Cup during an 8-1 route of Notts County.

In 39 Senior Appearances for Swansea City, James scored 6 times and provided 10 assists.

It was James’ wonder goal against Brentford in the 5th round of the 2018 FA Cup that caught the attention of football fans around the country.

Strong Start…

Daniel James hit the headlines on his debut for Manchester United, scoring United’s fourth goal in their brilliant start against Chelsea.

“Dream Debut” – James scored the last goal for United in their 4-0 win on the opening Sunday of the 2019/20 season. Source:

It wasn’t just his debut that impressed however, James scored three goals in his first four appearances for United. He also netted against Belarus for the Wales national team.

Struggle to find form…

After James’ impressive start, the Welsh winger failed to score for the rest of the 19/20 Premier League Season. He only found the net in one other game in the Europa League against the Austrian side LASK.

United posess some excellent finishers of the ball; Mason Greenwood, Edinson Cavani, Bruno Fernandes etc. Dan James doesn’t have the same composure or quality in front of goal.

We see quite often with James that he takes up brilliant positions on the pitch and has a great cross but he is not as effective when required to find the bottom corner.

It was after his recent goal against Newcastle in the Premier League that he spoke openly about his struggle to find form. When asked by Sky Sports, James admitted: “I kind of lost my way … I wasn’t playing the same as I did the start of last season”.

Daniel James’ Role in the side…

After his debut for United, James started the next 17 games in the league. This has been his longest run in the United side since his arrival and has not made more than 7 consecutive appearances in the league since.

James played the majority of his football on the left-wing for Swansea City. Due to the likes of Rashford and Martial on the left-wing, James has been preferred to play right-wing. There is now strong competition at right-wing. Mason Greenwood, Amad Diallo and now also Shola Shoretire are all very capable of playing in that position.

With United eyeing up Jadon Sancho this summer, it would seem certain that James would not start regularly for United but be a squad player.

Jadon Sancho, currently of Borussia Dortmund, is heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford. Source:

Successul teams win trophies and titles not just from their starting XI, but also from their squad.

Team members mention him as a very upbeat character in the dressing room, entertaining the squad with his silly dancing.

Recent resurgence

Since the welshman’s barren run was ended, James has scored 3 goals and recorded 1 assist in 3 games.

Our #21 is extremely quick and would take gold medal if any of our United superstars had a race. He is best utilised against teams that use a high-line, for example Real Sociedad. He finished off our 4-0 thrashing of the Spanish side with a nutmeg on the keeper.

Dan James scored the fourth goal against Sociedad last Thursday, he will hope to keep his place in the side for our second leg. Source:

We saw his lack of performances towards the end of last season as he failed to get into the United starting XI. Although low on confidence, he was still working as hard in training as any of his teammates. United legend and current Welsh National team manager Ryan Giggs was asked about James’ attitude.

“Knowing Dan, the way he trains and his attitude, he will come through and be all the better for it. It is a chance to get some form back to go back to their clubs and show them what they can do”. (

James will hope to continue to pursue a starting role in the United XI after two impressive performances. He now has 6 goals in 9 appearances for United and Wales and is showing his quality.

Author: Ben Grenier

Aspiring sports journalist, Manchester United supporter. 18 years old taking my gap year, hoping to provide quality writing to gain experience. Twitter is @BrpGsports

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