Daniel James was in the middle of his first full season as a senior player at Swansea City when he began attracting the attention of clubs across the country. In the 2018-19 campaign, the Welshman was one of the top performers for the Swans. This led Manchester United to snaffle him up for £15 million in the summer transfer window, in what was a dream move for the player. Unfortunately, though, he has failed to make a name for himself at Old Trafford.
Unlikely to be used in the Europa League Final
Despite being one of the most promising prospects in English football, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has thus far neglected to put his faith in James. Instead of giving the 23-year-old a chance to develop, the manager has used him as a bit-part player.
As such, the former Swansea man is unlikely to make the first team for the Europa League final. The UEFA Europa League winner odds have United as clear favourites to win. This is based on the bookies’ knowledge of Solskjaer’s favoured lineup and its incredible firepower. Indeed, the odds on the Europa League have the Red Devils at 3/4 to win.
If the manager chooses his regular attacking combination that has unlocked the prowess of Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, and Bruno Fernandes, the English club should have too much for Villarreal. With all these big names taking up the offensive positions, there will be no room for James. In fact, he is way down in the pecking order and Mason Greenwood has a higher chance of playing in James’ position on the right of midfield.
United May Strengthen in James’ Position
James has played a little over 800 minutes in the Premier League this season, and it looks as though his situation could worsen in the next campaign. Not only does Solskjaer have Amad Diallo who is likely to be integrated into the team, but he is expected to dip into the transfer market to strengthen in the summer.
It is expected that United will make another attempt to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho in the next window. The 21-year-old could be a future superstar, and the Old Trafford club has been desperate to bring him in for some time. If the English youngster joins, James is unlikely to get a look in on the right-hand flank.
James Could Regret the Failed Leeds Transfer
It all could have turned out differently for James, and he may be regretting his failed transfer to Leeds United in the January window of the 2018-19 campaign. Marcelo Bielsa was adamant that he needed the Welshman, and the club did everything they could to bring him in. But, at the last minute, the deal fell through.
James’ journey should act as a stark warning to breakthrough players in the Championship. Getting a move to a major club can feel like a dream come true. But if that club can’t guarantee game time, then it could turn into a nightmare. Young players need the chance to develop, and the best way to do that could be to stay in the Championship for a couple more seasons.