Manchester United are set to announce their first signing of the summer after reportedly agreeing personal terms with 21-year-old Swansea winger Daniel James.
Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, United are set to have a summer overhaul as they look to offload a lot of dead weight and add some young exciting talent in an effort to imitate the model under Sir Alex Ferguson and it appears that James was high on the priority list after an impressive season in the Championship.
Who is Daniel James
The question on all Manchester United fans minds following the news who is this young Championship player that is setting the club back £15 million.
James is a left winger that has lately been deployed on the right flank who has been described as a speed merchant and scored four goals and assisted nine in the Championship this season.
Whilst the stats might not blow too many fans away, it is worth noting that in his last eight games, James was involved in six goals, scoring two and assisting four which, given the time of the year, has seen him gain a lot of interest.
James has two national caps for the Welsh national side where he scored a goal against Slovakia during the Wales Euro qualifier in March.
Ryan Giggs described the forward as “someone who has got genuine speed and someone who is exciting” whilst ex Swansea boss and now Brighton manager Graham Potter has previously said that he “ran out of superlatives” about the forward:
“I’ve run out of superlatives. If you look at that performance, if you’re being honest, it’s above the Championship. We’re all just fortunate to witness that performance from Dan and from the team as well.
A bold move or a step backwards?
Given the lack of top-level football and a stats book that doesn’t grab much attention, James will have many fans questioning the quality of the player they could be seeing at Old Trafford next season.
One side of the coin could be that United have pulled a masterstroke move by identifying a young forward who can go on to be a genuine Manchester United player whilst there is as much risk that James is a talented youngster who is more suited to a bottom or mid-level Premier League club rather than a top six one and the fact that Manchester United beat Brighton to his signature could be a forewarning of the latter scenario.
No matter the player or the ability, James will be joining a shakey changeroom and a club that is still reeling from the departure of Ferguson who is desperate to get back to their former glory and have identified the previous strategies as the way move forward which has been typified by the appointment of Solskjaer despite his lack of experience.
My only hope is that the Old Trafford faithful rally behind a young player who will take a while to get used to the physical demands of the Premier League and meanwhile, it is high past time that the senior players in the United squad start shouldering more responsibility in order to give the young talented players the space to grow.