Swansea winger has agreed terms for £ 15m switch to Old Trafford
By Peter Smith
Last update: 22/05/19 9:27 pm
Manchester United is approaching the commitment of Swansea winger Daniel James – but what will the young Welshman bring to Old Trafford and could he deal directly with Ole Gunnar Solskjær's plans for next season?
James was close to loaning to League Two Yeovil last summer, but after a breakout season in the championship, the 21-year-old has become one of the most sought-after youngsters and should now get a chance at one of the biggest clubs in the world.
- Surname: Daniel Owen James
- Place of birth: Beverley, England
- Society: Swansea City
- Country: Wales
- Older: 21
- Position: winger
- Goals / Assists (18/19): 5.10
- Int. Internationals / Goals: 2.1
Last season, James denied 33 appearances for Swansea, as coach Graham Potter – who has since moved to Brighton – rebuilt the team after relegation from the Premier League and secured tenth place.
James agrees terms for £ 15m
Busy Utd will convince "top players"
James was one of the swans' rising talents who benefited from the reshuffle and took his chance to score six goals in all competitions, including a stunning stand-alone performance against Brentford in the FA Cup, which proved his lightning-fast pace.
This speed was a real asset to the championship. James took third place in the division for quick breaks every 90 minutes last season, and his pace enabled him to take dangerous positions in the final third, where he took fifth place among the most frequent shooters in the second row.
In fact, in the 2018/19 season, only four players scored more goals per 90 minutes on average.
These numbers will appeal to fans of Manchester United, whose team was looking for an offensive inspiration following a frustrating campaign in which they finished sixth in the Premier League and scored only 33 goals in 19 home games.
Could James already fight with Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial for the far-reaching attacking roles at United? And with just one season of senior football, is he ready for the leap?
Sky Sports' EFL expert David Prutton is convinced.
James has an electrical tempo reminiscent of Manchester United's winger back then.
Sky Sports EFL expert David Prutton
"Is he good enough for the current incarnation of Manchester United? I do not understand why not," he told Sky Sports.
"Why not recruit someone who is quick and confident and swamps the youth to put the cat under the pigeons, they need something to enliven them, so why not give them the chance?
"He can go in fearlessly, not to the point of being carefree, but to express himself. He was well trained in Swansea under Graham Potter and now has the chance to show off what he can on a bigger stage."
"It has an electric tempo reminiscent of the United winger back then, it will be fascinating to see what happens there for him."
James was about to become a Leeds United player on Deadline Day in January. The winger had made a medical and consensual agreement with the Swansea Championship rivals, only to allow his parents' club to make a 10 million pound move at the last minute.
One of these former United winger is already a big fan. Wales boss Ryan Giggs gave James his international debut in November and the attacker already met in his second international appearance on the 1-0 against Slovakia in a European qualifier in March.
James is a talent, and if you have this raw pace, you are a threat at every level.
Wales boss Ryan Giggs
"He's a talent, and if you're that fast, you're a threat on every level," Giggs said after the win in Slovakia.
"As a winger, you have to develop the other parts of the game, which I think he does."
James has received much praise this semester. Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola highlighted him as "incredibly fast" after his team's FA Cup victory against Swansea, while Potter James' appearance against Stoke in a league game in April was considered one of the best Designated individual services he had ever seen. "I'm running out of superlatives," said the former Swansea manager.
Now all eyes will be on the talented, tricky winger to see if he can bring this exciting potential to the Premier League.
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