Daniel James.

James recalls his FA Cup classic

Manchester United winger Daniel James has fond memories of the Emirates FA Cup after scoring a sensational goal for his former club Swansea City in 2019.

The Wales international's solo strike went viral after he burst clear to find the net during a 4-1 victory over Brentford that took the Swans through to the quarter-finals of the competition. It showcased his speed and composure and propelled him into the spotlight.

Manchester City were touted as potential suitors for James in the wake of that goal and he almost joined Leeds United before signing for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Reds in the following summer window.

Swansea were unluckily knocked out at the last-eight stage by City but James still recalls that run well and the incredible goal, in particular.

“Yeah, it’s a great memory,” he told us at the Aon Training Complex. “I’ll always remember it. I got a lot of messages after that game! The pitch just seem to open up as soon as I got the ball and I thought I’m going to go all the way here and, hopefully, no-one can catch me up. I just needed that composure at the end to put it in the back of the net. It was a special moment and it will always be a fond memory of mine.

“Growing up, you score a lot of those goals when you’re younger but you don’t get many times when the whole pitch is open and you’ve only got the goalkeeper to beat really. It was just about covering ground as quickly as I could and I had so much time to think about it – I was thinking about being one v one with the keeper when I was in my own 18-yard box. I just had to keep that composure and when it went in the back of the net, I knew it was a special goal.”

United Daily: James’s love for the CupVideo

James, who was excellent in the recent win over Leeds, is just hoping for another chance to be involved against Watford this weekend.

“I’ve been working hard in training every day and the manager knows I’m ready when called upon,” he told us. “I’ll just keep working hard in training and doing what I do.

“Being at this club, there is always going to be lots of competition and the forwards have been doing so well. So it’s about when I do get my opportunity, I’ve got to take mine. That’s the way I’ve been looking at it. I’ve not been playing as much so I’ve been able to do a lot more stuff in training, extra stuff, and I have to keep doing that and look at things I can improve and also work on the things I’m good at.

“It [the FA Cup] means everything. Growing up, there have been some unbelievable games over the years. I was at Swansea when I watched Jesse Lingard's extra-time goal [against Crystal Palace]. It’s a special competition.”