A young left-back making his debut for Manchester United made a name for himself against LA Galaxy and it wasn’t one of the world’s most expensive teenagers, Luke Shaw.
Reece James, who spent last season on loan at Carlisle United, stole the show in Louis van Gaal‘s first game in charge, replacing Shaw at half-time and scoring two excellent goals to put the gloss on a confident performance.
The 20-year-old defender looked at ease in Louis van Gaal‘s side and was clearly under instructions to get forward as much as he could which earned the praise of his manager.
“When you listen, you can play good,” van Gaal told MUTV. “He is a young boy with a lot of talent and I hope he can play like this again.”
James’ moment in the limelight has thrust him into contention for a spot in the first team squad. Here’s how journalists and United fans reacted to the young man’s dream debut on Twitter.
20-year-old Reece James scores a second goal. He wasn't even on the team squad that van Gaal signed off. 5-0 #mufc
— ian herbert (@ianherbs) July 24, 2014
GOAL: Reece James makes it 4-0. The 20-year-old finishing like a veteran!
— Stretty News (@StrettyNews) July 24, 2014
James joined United at Under-18 level in July 2012 after spells at the academies of Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End. Though his time at Carlisle was blighted by injuries, the Lancashire native was still nominated for United’s 2014 Reserve Player of the Year Award.
Utd were practising the sort of side-foot finishes that Reece James dispatched with aplomb in training y'day. Suspect LvG will be v pleased
— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) July 24, 2014
— Stimo (@Stimo_5) July 24, 2014
With Van Gaal still assessing the players he already has at his disposal before making any new signings, James has certainly given the Dutchman something to think about.
If he can recreate his impressive performance against the likes of AS Roma, Inter Milan and Real Madrid, the Dutchman may not feel the need to purchase a senior left-back after the departure of veteran Patrice Evra. Instead, he may rely on the youth of Shaw and James.