James: The tour's been amazing so far
Saturday night in Perth was a memorable one for Daniel James, as Manchester United fans crowned him Man of the Match in our official app.
The 21-year-old, who signed for the Reds from Swansea City on 12 June, made his first appearance in a United shirt and looked lively down the wing during the first half when he attempted to create chances against Perth Glory.
He was rested for the second period as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replaced his entire line-up, enabling the Wales international to take it all in as the Reds ran out 2-0 winners in front of more than 50,000 fans from 41 different countries at Optus Stadium.
“It's been amazing,” James told MUTV's Mark Sullivan after the game.
“You see all the fans out here, they’ve come from everywhere and they were great today.
“We also put in a great performance. I think in the first half we had a few chances that we could have put away, but we showed in the second half that we were clinical.”
Daniel James enjoys first United appearanceVideo
“We’ve had a great 10 days [in pre-season so far],” he added.
“We’ve been working on certain things. Tonight, we showed what we have been working on and we got a result.”
James made a name for himself on the left-hand side of Swansea's attack but he has expressed his desire to become more adaptable. This was in full effect during our opening fixture of Tour 2019, with the youngster trying to get in behind Glory's back four on both flanks.
“For me, that left position was always my favourite, but now I like being versatile,” he told United legend Denis Irwin.
“I like playing across the front three. I think it’s important to play in all three positions and all of our forward players can do that.
“Anthony [Martial] today, for example, he played as a number nine and showed that he can play there, so it’s good for us all to interlink and I think we swapped a few times, so yeah, it’s good to play in all three.”
James revealed he had already discussed his playing style with the wide men who operate behind him, United's full-backs, and during the first 45 minutes, he and Ashley Young demonstrated they were on the same wavelength. The senior player sporting the captain's armband often bombed forward to support our new signing.
“As soon as I came in I made sure I told the full-backs my strengths and how I like to play,” said James.
“I think Youngy also showed that he could go inside and play as that third central midfield player and he was playing me in quite a lot.
Webber analyses James's debut displayVideo
“That’s going to be important over the next few weeks to get that link up with the full backs, to get the best out of me and the best out of them.”
“That’s what we want to do. We want to get in behind opposition, not play in front. Obviously the gaffer has been speaking to me about doing that and it’s important for me to do that.”