James recalls scoring his first United goal
Daniel James will always remember the first time he stepped out at Old Trafford as a Manchester United player.
As he was presented with the ball he struck past Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga in front of the Stretford End, James described his debut goal and how he’s finding life at the Theatre of Dreams.
“I think I've made that run maybe three or four times and not got the ball and the last time I’ve made it, Paul [Pogba]’s played me through,” the Wales international told the Premier League.
“I hesitated a bit, I didn’t take the shot, I thought [Emerson Palmieri] was going to block it. I’ve had a shot and it’s had a nice deflection and it’s gone bottom corner. I think it was pure emotion and all the team felt that emotion with me.
“When you come to a new club, you want to contribute to the team by goals and assists and to get that goal really has helped me.”
After replacing Andreas Pereira in that opening-day win, the former Swansea City man has started every Premier League match since, adding further strikes against Crystal Palace and Southampton.
James revealed he’s already learned plenty from manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since signing in June and is looking forward to continuing his progress.
“I’m loving it,” James added. “Every training session, he’s trying to make me better. As you say, on the pitch he’s always telling me to go at players. He’s never negative, he’s always positive with everything.
“I think I wasn’t coming here to just be a squad player, but for the gaffer to believe in me and play me from the start – obviously in the Chelsea game I come on first game, but I’ve played every one since then, and that’s something that I want to continue to do.”
James first appeared for Wales in November 2018 and has since won a further seven caps, scoring twice, against Slovakia and Belarus.
His national team coach, Ryan Giggs, is, of course, one of United’s greatest-ever players and the youngster revealed our record appearance holder had given him a word or two of encouragement over the summer.
“[Ryan Giggs] gave me my debut for Wales and I’m so grateful for that. He believed in me.
“I think when I come here, he obviously maybe spoke to the manager, but when I signed here he sent me a text saying ‘just be yourself’, and that’s what I’ll be.
“I haven’t been here long, but I’ve made some great friends already. I think that’s so important coming to a new club.
“Obviously scoring [against] Palace and Southampton as well always helps you, but that’s what you’re here for: to contribute to the team. If I’m doing that, I’m doing my job.”
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