Daniel James Is In A Difficult Spot At Manchester United
5’9 – 69 Kg speed-based game with tremendous movement skills married to a coach who maximizes that ability
5’9 – 76 Kg speed-based game who is an out and out winger on a team without a target man striker
Player B is obviously Daniel James but who is player A? Raheem Sterling.
Much is made of the disappearance of the classic 10 but the out and out winger at a major club is becoming a victim of time as well, a look at Daniel James heat map 2 seasons ago at Swansea shows him to be a winger who likes to stay outside while a look at Sterling’s heat map reveals the modern cut inside forward. Manchester United brought in James to have a promising outside winger like the golden era days his current coach played in. Sadly United got caught in nostalgia and couldn’t recognize their team had no real use for a traditional outside winger.
The Harsh Reality For Daniel James
Daniel James isn’t good enough for Manchester United to build the entire team based on what he does well so he has to fit within the current system. The problem in that is that the system isn’t a good fit for him. Take out the counter and ask yourself in which way does United’s playstyle suit an outside winger? The defensive structure out of possession is very important to Ole so drifting out wide often is out of the question. On offense moments of brilliance move the chains and that seems to be the entire game plan honestly. Movement from Rashford, a risky pass from Bruno, Martial floating to free space to receive the ball and Greenwood running into space to challenge defenders from the right…..where someone should be.
Daniel James had 96 crosses through the 19/20 season 2nd on the team to Wan Bissaka who had 102. Raheem Sterling had 46 less crosses on around 4 more completed 90s. James is a promising player but an inside game is necessary for him to fit in this team. If he can’t develop that, honestly he should consider a move to a team that better suits his talents.
Learning a whole nother side of the game in your 20s is already a lot to ask of one player. The other option is refining one’s current skill set to fit the current system better is also an option but that doesn’t mean that’s easy either. I like James he plays like he knows this is a major club and he needs to show up every game but as a fan of his watching him get lost in the non existent game plan and disappear for long stretches is tremendously frustrating. That’s me as a fan I can’t even imagine what he feels on the pitch. James has this season to re-tool his entire skill set or he’ll just be another scapegoat for fans to take out their frustrations on. Moments of genius move the offense it’s why Sancho would fit well here but if you’re not a genius like Pereira, Fred, Daniel James and many others you become a victim to meaningless spells of possession that don’t go anywhere. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is an okay coach but a better system is needed to bring out the best in the lesser talents on the squad but maybe that’s not his cup of tea. Ole played in squads full of geniuses maybe it is make the grade or get out.
Daniel James – 21
Ferran Torres came over to City at about the same fee as Daniel James. Ferran Torres received a 14-year education at Valencia’s famous academy while Daniel James came up at Hull City. Ferran Torres is inheriting David Silva’s 21, the message is clear. While James was looking to make it down to 11 at United before they choose Greenwood instead.
United would’ve suited Ferran very well but he isn’t there, he’s by the blue side for the same fee as a player who doesn’t suit their current system wearing the same number.
James has a polished outside game, Ferran Torres is just polished. James has the higher celling cause of his superior physical profile but will he receive the coaching Ferran is about to receive about how to best utilize one’s skill set? It’s funny because Ferran is an out-and-out winger too(his 81 crosses led Valencia in the 19/20 season) let’s see if Pep can provide the blueprint on how such wingers function on modern elite Premier League teams.
It’s getting hopeless with this stock but I still have faith we’ll revisit the case in December again.