Manchester United winger Daniel James linked with Leicester City
According to Manchester Gazzette reporter Paul Swinson (h/t Leicester Live), Leicester City boss, Brendan Rodgers, has identified Daniel James of Manchester United as a possible signing in the summer transfer window. The report further states that the interest from the Foxes for James is ‘strong’.
James signed for United from Swansea City back in the summer of 2019 and has made 48 appearances in the Premier League so far. He came through the ranks of Hull City and was then transferred to the Swans’ academy before the Red Devils came calling. But is he a player that United can do without? Let us find out.
Manchester United can afford to sell Daniel James
Daniel James is not one of the first names on United’s team sheet. He started just 11 league games last season, with most of his game time coming down the right-hand side. That is in stark contrast to the 33 league games he played during his debut season. That shows James’ receding importance under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Mason Greenwood has found his place down the right wing for the Red Devils. But even his place would be under threat next season because of the arrival of Jadon Sancho. According to The Guardian, the former Borussia Dortmund winger has signed a 5-year-deal with United and would cost £73million plus £5million in add-ons.
The 21-year-old’s superstar status and high price tag would surely mean a starting berth at United. And the Red Devils are unlikely to dish out such an amount for a player who they don’t see as a starter. This means that James could fall further down the pecking order right-hand side.
Apart from that, the Welshman also has competition from two bright teenagers down that wing. Highly-rated Ivorian Amad Diallo, who joined United in January, has already featured for the senior team, and 19-year-old Uruguayan wide-man Facundo Pellistri could follow the same path next season.
Selling James makes sense for all parties
The same goes for the left flank, where Marcus Rashford has arguably cemented his spot. Anthony Martial can play in that position, and so can Sancho. This essentially means another spot in the team where James would struggle to get into. If Solskjaer was comfortable enough to start Paul Pogba down that flank when James was available, the Welshman is surely not on top of the Norwegian’s pecking order there.
For James, any move away from United could mean more game time. The Welsh winger, according to the aforementioned report covered by Leicester Live, is also linked with Brighton and Hove Albion. But no matter his destination, a move away from Old Trafford could see him get the minutes he needs at this age.
Now 23, he was a big part of Wales’ short but exciting UEFA Euros 2020 campaign. He started all four games for them, and he would undoubtedly want to hold down that berth in the Welsh national team for years to come. If he cannot get starts at the club level, then his future selection would be uncertain.
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The former Swansea man also has three years left on his contract. This gives United a strong hand in any potential negotiations as they would not be under any immediate pressure to offload him. If they can get a good fee for him, it would certainly make an impact on their books at the end of the fiscal season.