With Manchester United announcing their first signing of their summer, Welsh winger Daniel James. I’ll explain what James will bring to Old Trafford for those who might not be too familiar with him.
Before the start of last season Daniel James was begging the Swansea manager to let him go on loan to Yeovil Town on loan. 9 months later he’s just signed for arguably the biggest football club there is for around £15,000,000. James’ pure speed is a key feature of his game. He reached a sprinting speed of 36km/h last season, in comparison Leroy Sane’s fastest ever recorded speed is 35.48km/h. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said the following about James, “James is incredibly fast, so it’s not easy. We knew that, we spoke about it”
James doesn’t only use his speed in attack however, he uses his speed exceptionally well when the team presses, something Manchester United desperately needed from their forwards. Unlike many players who need service to form an attack, James is very capable of dropping deep and creating his own opportunities using his sheer speed and dribbling abilities.
After several games of last season, opposition teams began to put two players on James in hope that it would stop his attacking presence. So how did the winger respond? “Now they double up on me or stay closer and sometimes I’ve for frustrated but it’s just about, if I’m not getting the ball what can I do to get others on it."
This highlights James’ attitude of being a team player, he not only looks to do well himself in a game, but also to help his teammates the most he can. A true indicator of his attitude is knack of dropping deep in the pitch in order to help his fullbacks defensively.
Therefore, the key things James will bring to United are: the ability to press hard from the front, movement and quality in the final third, raw speed and dribbling and most importantly a player with a great attitude looking to succeed. It remains to be seen how James will perform in the premier league, however his performances for Swansea & Wales provide a lot of hope for Manchester United fans.