Despite a blistering 5-1 win over Leeds United in yesterday’s opening Premier League fixture, United winger Dan James came in for some criticism after the game.
The Sun published an article claiming that fans on social media are adamant that James should be sold, making comments such as ‘please don’t forget to take Dan James back with you’, ‘Dan James should just follow Leeds back home’, ‘hope Bielsa still wants Dan James… I’ll drive him there myself in exchange for training cones… They don’t need to pay’ and ‘convinced Leeds actually signed Dan James and that he’s just a spy.’
Whilst the criticism may be unfair on a player who has not had much of a pre-season and whose tireless work caused problems for the Leeds defence, it is fair to say that James’ overall development since joining from Swansea City two years ago has been less than stellar.
With Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Paul Pogba, Juan Mata and, potentially, Anthony Martial all capable of playing in the wing positions, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has an important decision to make about James’ future: is the 23-year-old still a project or is it time to move him on?
Wonderkid Amad Diallo, another challenger for the same position, has been linked with a loan deal away from the club but is that because James is standing in the way? And if James were to leave either permanently or on loan, should Amad be kept at Old Trafford and given more opportunities?
United fans on The Peoples Person Facebook page were asked what should be done with the pair. Most believed James should be moved on, with fans divided over whether Amad should be loaned or not. Comments included:
‘I would love to keep Amad but less playing time might stagnate his growth. He has the potential to be one of the best in the world. Would love for him to be loaned at a Championship team. Would give him immense experience.’
‘Sell D.J and keep Amad, we need depth in all areas… Not to mention how many games we’ll have to play…. let him compete with the first team guys.’
‘Loan DJ, keep Amad and use him. DJ is such a wasteful player. He won’t improve! Amad will.’
‘James is an Olympic 100m sprinter , not a footballer. Sell James and keep Amad.’
‘Dan James I would sell. Nice kid and an OK player but not the level needed. Amad I’d loan. But only to a Prem team to give him Prem experience.’
However some fans are still fighting for James. Comments included:
‘James cannot go. It will be highly unwise to let James go out on loan or sell. Sancho is good but yet to learn the Manchester United way and it will take a season to have our blood in him. Amad is young, strong and fast. No need to let him go, we are involved in other competitions so he should rotate the team.’
‘Keep James and Amad, or maybe loan Amad to another EPL club. But James is staying. He will only learn and get better. He is good, but his decision making in front of goal is only his problem. Teach him that and you will see the best in him.’