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Daniel James: How did Welsh starlet perform for Manchester United against Leeds in his first start?


Manchester United faced Leeds United in their second pre-season match in Australia with fans able to get more of a glimpse of their new signings.

The Red Devils have made two big additions so far this summer with Daniel James joining for £15million from Swansea while Aaron Wan-Bissaka was a £50million acquisition from Crystal Palace.

Daniel James started for Manchester United against Leeds

Both players started the match against Leeds United with a chance to impress their new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

For James the game was also a chance to show what Leeds missed out on as he nearly joined Marcelo Bielsa’s side in January.

His move to the Championship club collapsed at the 11th hour and he ended up staying at Swansea for the rest of the season.

He played the first 45 minutes against Leeds before the entire XI was substituted for the second half and here at talkSPORT.com, we have taken a close look at how James played against Leeds.


The winger was working hard trying to give his team-mates options but struggled to get into the game.

He came deep on several occasions to try and get the ball and was even switched from the left to right flank towards the end of the first 45 minutes.

James made a good run showing his explosive pace two minutes before half-time and was played in by Marcus Rashford but he could not get his shot on target as it skipped beyond Kiko Casilla and clipped the post.

Mason Greenwood scored Man United’s first against Leeds
Getty Images – Getty

Passing and shooting

The 21-year-old struggled with his usually good passing and shooting in the final third.

The effort just before half-time was his only scoring chance in the whole first half while his decent movement to make space was let down by a poor pass in the 26th minute when he should have played in Mason Greenwood.

James only completed a handful of passes because he did not see the ball much in the first 45 minutes.

Daniel James also featured in the pre-season friendly against Perth Glory
Getty Images – Getty


The winger did not much on the back foot in the first half with United seeing plenty of the ball and most of Leeds’ attacks coming down the opposite flank.

He did switch off in the 32nd minute and failed to track Pablo Hernandez, who made a good run down the Red Devils’ left.

Hernandez had a good opportunity to shoot but James was nowhere to be seen when he should have been marking his man.

The Manchester United team for the first half against Leeds
Getty Images – Getty

Conclusion – Rating – 6/10

James was anonymous for most of the first half and had to go searching for the ball on plenty of occasions.

He showed glimpses of the explosive pace  he possesses and when he did have space out in front of him the Leeds defence could not cope.

The winger was slightly let down by his end product and should have had a goal to his name but his shot glanced the outside of the post.

The prospect of Daniel James in a front three of Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood looked promising, particularly because of the pace all three have.

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