Is Daniel James set to become our best signing since RVP?

United Hobbit

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What worries me is he seems to be going backwards. I've obviously commented on this thread before as it shows I have so I was probably among those getting excited by him

I think the important things is WHY is he going backwards? Obviously I can only speculate but is it:

-Lack of coaching? Are the coaches sitting down with him after the games and showing him where he went wrong and could do things differently? For example when he shoots show him players he could have passed to instead, which could potentially lead to him getting an assist? If he's not being shown where he went wrong, he can't learn. I'd like to think we do this with the whole team, especially the young players like Williams/ Greenwood etc. While they are obviously a lot better than James they will still make mistakes and need to be shown them so they can learn from them. I watched that documentary on City on Amazon a few years ago and Pep has full on meetings with the team dissecting the performance. Obviously we may do this, I often say I'd love such a document to be made about us i think it would be very interesting

-Lack of confidence? Someone made a very interesting point up thread about how him getting clattered so often in the early season has possibly dented his confidence. I hadn't thought of that and they may be right. Also I think the more he's trying and things not coming off for him the more he's over trying and it goes even worse for him. Obviously Rashy is several levels above him but you could very faintly see it with him after lockdown where he was almost trying too hard. However Rashy was contributing to the team in other ways, James needs to get the basics right then work on the more complex things- look at helping the team in other ways such as tracking back and winning the ball. Help the team in other ways and try and help his confidence a bit. He could almost do with a couple of games in the reserves to try and get going again, take the spotlight off him a bit or coming into an easy game where there's no pressure on him and he can quietly try and find some form. Unfortunately for him there are no reserve games at present, nor do we have any easy no pressure games until the LASK one. At this stage of the season we can't afford passengers. Also don't forget the sad situation with his dad- could this be affecting him in some way? I know it was nearly a year ago but it could be a contributing factor

-Being played out of position. Know there's a bit of debate on here about what his strongest position is but the generic consensus is he is better on the left. Obviously we are not dropping Rashy. It would be great if we had games where he could come in to enable Rashy to have a rest and play in a well structured team with Pogba/ Bruno/ Martial etc. Again as per above we can't afford to do that at present and his form/ confidence aren't there to even include him in a strong team as if it goes wrong for him, the confidence continues to drop.

-Attitude? There was a lot of hype over him when he first came did he perhaps think "I've made it" and take his foot off the gas? He comes across as not being this type of player but again its a possible consideration

-Fatigue? Little worrying he seems to have dropped off more after lockdown but he's had to play a lot of games this season due to lack of squad depth. As its such a step up, he also has the mental fatigue of a huge learning curve plus the increased physical fatigue of the PL. However why has he dropped off more since lockdown?

- Simply not good enough. There would be nothing wrong with this as long as he is handled correctly eg moved on if true, but I'd possibly give him a little more time. It will be knowing when to cut our losses but we also don't want to be doing that too early. Look into the other possible issues above then go down this route.

I think depending on what's happening will determine the best route with him.

- I sincerely hope he's already being coached and given feedback so he can learn from it

-If its confidence, depending on if we can sign someone like Sancho he needs to be taken out the spotlight for a bit. Either a spell in the reserves or only coming on in "easy" games where we are comfortably winning/ playing in the early cup games.

-if I was to loan him I'd do half a season then assess. Ideally to one of the lower PL clubs that play similar style to us if any would take him. If he looks to be improving bring him back for halt the season and use him sensibly and see where we stand. If it looks to be an ability issue, sell. If he shows he can be a strong squad player, keep as currently the drop between first team and the bench is huge. We need this to be less. Ighalo for me is a good example of a good squad player. He can be trusted to come in and do a job if he is chosen. There is no point having squad players if they can't do a job. Yes we can't have a bench full of Sanchos like City do but they at least need to be able to do a job when chosen or there is no point having them

-I think the Lask game will be good for him as there is absolutely no pressure. He can play his preferred position of left wing too. However it also won't be as we will heavily rotate so he will be "stuck with" similarly out of form/ lower ability players. I'd like to see some of the young players used as well.

-id like to see him told to work on the other parts of his game more and see if we can improve the basics to try and give him a better skill set, then look at the more technical stuff. If he can't improve the basics we know we are probably at a loss. At the start of the season he looked like he could get a lot of assists and at times it was the other players wasting the chances he had created. I'd like to see more of that from him rather than trying to shoot when he should pass. Getting assists will help his confidence more than shooting and missing

Like I say it may simply be he isn't good enough but I think we could at least try and get him back to how he was doing at the start of the season as on that form he will be a very useful squad player. It would be great if we could improve him like Wolves have done with Traore but that again goes back to the coaching. He could also do with a bit more muscle. Not huge so he doesn't blunt his speed but enough that he's not pushed off the ball/ taken out quite as easily
 

Web of Bissaka

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Good post, you've raised many good points there.

-Out of position is still the main factor for me. The most recent game where he played at LW, he was awesome (just once out of 3-5 games since this restart iirc). Biggest problem is Rashford is ahead of him.

^ I think someone need to make a list of games comparing his performances on LW vs RW, that way we can put an end to this.

-Lack of coaching? I think we've seen the effects of this, the coaches rightly training James to play more with his head and to play more passing football which is not suited to James at the moment. Trade-off is in the long-run, hopefully he'll improve. In the future, he may even play better on RW eventhough his best is on LW.

James is more of a instinctive type of player than one who play with thinking.

And for god's sake people, he is still 22 years old.
I do get at this time, there are so many youngsters who are far better and more eye-catching than him.


EDIT: -Nullified, meaning opposing teams understand his strengths and weaknesses now and we see more and more how he's getting useless playing on the RW. Earlier season, he played just fine on RW, but nowadays opposing defenders just need to block his paths/space for him to run into, keeping distance against his pace. It's reminiscence to how the second season onwards for Antonio Valencia, his performances and threats at RW diminished because opposing teams have studied and used to him, knows how to countered his repetitive patters of attacking style.

On the RW, James is too limited and one-dimensional.
On the LW, James is more unpredictable.
 
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Chief123

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I had no idea how close he was to joining Leeds Utd the January before he joined us. I saw a Youtube video which popped up in my recommendations showing what happened.

He literally had signed and sealed the deal. Had the medical. Was at Elland road having pictures taken with a Leeds top and being congratulated by everyone on the move.

Then in the last hour the Swansea senior board refused to answer the phone!

 

Garethw

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He is a championship level player and is massively out of his depth.
 

meamth

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Written off in first season...not surprised.

Anyway, he will bounce back next season!
 

SadlerMUFC

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Give the kid a break. He was thrust into the first team right away and depended on way too much in the beginning. He's a good player and will become a valuable squad player...
 

hobbers

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He's clearly not good enough to be a squad player here. He's a great guy by all means but he has nothing to offer but pace.

Nothing wrong with a speculative signing like that though, given inflation paying 20m for him last summer is no worse than paying 7m for Bebe or Tosic.
 

amolbhatia50k

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Give the kid a break. He was thrust into the first team right away and depended on way too much in the beginning. He's a good player and will become a valuable squad player...
He already has his break. He plays for Manchester United. Players who are at elite football clubs and not looking the part should have their futures questioned. He's not going to be sold and has next season to prove whether he can make it here as a squad player. I'd personally loan him out as I really do feel we need a certain level of player coming off the bench but if he stays and performs then we'd all be happy.
 

meamth

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He already has his break. He plays for Manchester United. Players who are at elite football clubs and not looking the part should have their futures questioned. He's not going to be sold and has next season to prove whether he can make it here as a squad player. I'd personally loan him out as I really do feel we need a certain level of player coming off the bench but if he stays and performs then we'd all be happy.
He did perform well at the first half of the season when we lost key players. He did all of that in his first season, came from championship.

I think he did well this season, dip in form, loss of confidence, it's normal for young players like him. He will improve next season, I'm sure of it and play some important role for us.

Writing him off as a no hope player is daft to be honest.
 

amolbhatia50k

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He did perform well at the first half of the season when we lost key players. He did all of that in his first season, came from championship.

I think he did well this season, dip in form, loss of confidence, it's normal for young players like him. He will improve next season, I'm sure of it and play some important role for us.

Writing him off as a no hope player is daft to be honest.
Well if they're proven right then they are simply on point and your hope would be more misplaced. I don't think he's a no hope player but his peformances and the abilities he showcased last season were worrying.
 

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He already has his break. He plays for Manchester United. Players who are at elite football clubs and not looking the part should have their futures questioned. He's not going to be sold and has next season to prove whether he can make it here as a squad player. I'd personally loan him out as I really do feel we need a certain level of player coming off the bench but if he stays and performs then we'd all be happy.
I personally think he should retrain himself to become a RB. He's a "keep the width" kind of player. Just work on his crossing and tackling and we have a modern day FB. EIther way though, TheCaf can be very "knee jerk" in their reactions. This post came out too early claiming him to possibly be the best signing since RVP and then people are going to the other extreme and saying he belongs in the Championship. Truth is he's a young player who was never meant to be a starter in his first year but got thrust into the spotlight and ended up playing too many games. I think he will become a good squad player though...
 

amolbhatia50k

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I personally think he should retrain himself to become a RB. He's a "keep the width" kind of player. Just work on his crossing and tackling and we have a modern day FB. EIther way though, TheCaf can be very "knee jerk" in their reactions. This post came out too early claiming him to possibly be the best signing since RVP and then people are going to the other extreme and saying he belongs in the Championship. Truth is he's a young player who was never meant to be a starter in his first year but got thrust into the spotlight and ended up playing too many games. I think he will become a good squad player though...
So all he has to do is work on his defending, crossing and obviously strength too, then he can become a right back?
 

lex talionis

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A loan would be best for all parties. The jump from Championship to United is massive and it’s clear that he needs an environment where he can grow and succeed. Let’s see what James can do with a newly promoted club or an Everton before we potentially crush him with the weight of expectations at Old Trafford.
 

Dozer

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I can't ever see him becoming physically strong enough to be a competent fullback, as some are suggesting. All well and good leaving him to keep the width, but he'll have to defend occasionally. Valencia was built like an Ox. Besides which, AWB will be our rightback for the next decade.
 

dove

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He did perform well at the first half of the season when we lost key players. He did all of that in his first season, came from championship.

I think he did well this season, dip in form, loss of confidence, it's normal for young players like him. He will improve next season, I'm sure of it and play some important role for us.

Writing him off as a no hope player is daft to be honest.
"First half of the season" is a bit of a stretch. He performed well in the first 3-4 games. Then all teams did they homework properly and he was quickly neutralised. When teams realised how to defend against him and considering that his skillset starts and ends with pace, he quickly became useless. Can't see it changing.
 

Adisa

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The gulf in class would be a massive challenge for anyone. He needs a bit of time before we can say he is not useful.
 

Mainoldo

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You continue to think inside the box. I'm more than fine with thinking outside of it. Besides, you do realize that most FB's didn't start off as FB's right?
There’s a few examples of Youth team players that were strikers or wingers but most of the time you’ll find they were highly intelligent players or converted in the youth team or on becoming a first team player.

Ashley Cole; Patrice Evra; Marcelo to name a few. But as you can see it’s not a long list. Just a few players. I mean Scholes and Carrick were strikerA turned deep line playmaker. Shall I take it Martial can become this one day too?

I don’t see anything in Dan James except for recovery pace that says he’ll be a good RB. I mean the mans the weakest player in our team. Imagine having to mark Traore.
 

SadlerMUFC

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There’s a few examples of Youth team players that were strikers or wingers but most of the time you’ll find they were highly intelligent players or converted in the youth team or on becoming a first team player.

Ashley Cole; Patrice Evra; Marcelo to name a few. But as you can see it’s not a long list. Just a few players. I mean Scholes and Carrick were strikerA turned deep line playmaker. Shall I take it Martial can become this one day too?

I don’t see anything in Dan James except for recovery pace that says he’ll be a good RB. I mean the mans the weakest player in our team. Imagine having to mark Traore.
The list is a lot longer than that. Either way, James' game seems more like a classic winger than a modern winger. He would probably do well in a 4-4-2. But that doesn't suit us now. This is why I think he could possibly be a good RB. As for Traore, he's a nightmare for most. Do you think TAA says "yes, I get to play against Traore today!!!"