Daniel James.

Who's winning the race to be United's fastest player?

Speed has become a fundamental attribute of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United and that devastating pace, particularly on the counter attack, continues to be a potent weapon up front.

Last Sunday’s victory over Brighton & Hove Albion was a good example of how the team can utilise its natural acceleration to good effect, transforming defence into attack in a matter of seconds. 

So who is currently the fastest player in the group? We sat down with Andreas Pereira earlier this month to quiz him on his team-mates and the Brazilian was clear in his response to our question. 

“The fastest for sprinting? It is Dan James, for sure!”
the Academy graduate told us with conviction.
“He is so explosive and so fast. When you think about having to run to the ball, he’s very fast to it.”


While the summer signing is clearly lightning-fast, official data recorded by Opta shows that the livewire Wales international is currently only the second quickest player at United…
*According to Opta data says

Academy graduate Marcus Rashford has registered the quickest pace of any Red this campaign, after hitting 36.32 km/h against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford back in August.

IT’S NECK AND NECK!

According to data recorded by Opta, Marcus Rashford was United’s fastest player in seven of this season’s 12 Premier League matches, while James clocked the top speed in the other five games. 

Academy graduate Rashford has registered the quickest pace of any Red this campaign, after hitting 36.32 km/h against Crystal Palace at Old Trafford back in August. 

The in-form no.10 almost beat that exhilarating speed when he was recorded sprinting at 36.15 km/h during last Sunday’s victory over Brighton. 

New recruit James - who Ryan Giggs has described as the fastest player he’s ever seen - currently boasts 35.04 km/h as his greatest speed from a Premier League match so far this season. 
FASTEST SPEEDS THIS SEASON

Chelsea = James 33.52
Wolves = Rashford 33.33
Palace = Rashford 36.32
Southampton = James 34.24
Leicester = James 35.04
West Ham = James 33.81
Arsenal = Rashford 35.53
Newcastle = James 34.09
Liverpool = Rashford 33.39
Norwich = Rashford 33.70
Bournemouth = Rashford 33.67
Brighton = Rashford 36.15

*All speeds recorded in km/h
Andreas Pereira says

“The fastest for sprinting? It is Dan James, for sure! He is so explosive and so fast. When you think about having to run to the ball, he’s very fast to it.”

LET’S HEAR MORE FROM ANDREAS

As well as asking about the fastest player, we also probed Pereira on the squad's other standout attributes…

Who has the best tricks?
“I would say Anthony Martial has good tricks. In training, he has a lot of tricks. He’s very skilful. You wouldn’t do skills in a game, really, because you can score goals quicker without them, so in training you practise more skills than in the games, for sure. I like to do skills, for sure. I’m probably number one [laughs] but I’ll give it to Anthony!”


Who is the best at keeping the ball?
“To be fair, I think I love it. Fred loves to keep possession too. But I think possession-wise, I’m number one [laughs]. I sometimes hang on to it for too long in training. But I love to keep possession. Possession training is the one where, if I see it, I think ‘Ah, yeah, today is my day’.”


Who has the best goal celebration?
“I think Rashy. Even when he scored [against Chelsea], I get fired up seeing him celebrate in front of me. He has the best celebration. Everyone goes to him and celebrates too. It’s the best celebration.”

Recommended: