Dan James clinched his transfer to Manchester United this week, with official photos and interviews published on the club website.
It came a day after he featured for Wales in a Euro 2020 qualifying defeat against Hungary.
We watched James in action and the big takeaway was a combination of what we hoped for.
James’ pace is truly electric, and he does not hold back.
Furthermore, he possesses bravery, in the same way Cristiano Ronaldo was not afraid to take players on, James has no hesitation in running straight at the opposition.
When he gets the ball, he puts the burners on, and leaves defenders in his dust, or backing off him.
At times Hungary grouped up on him, and needed to foul him to stop him in his tracks. It was the only way.
All of Wales’ best moments came when James had the ball. He outshone Gareth Bale noticeably.
United’s best football under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last season came when we were counter attacking teams. Think back to the wins against Tottenham and Arsenal.
James is perfectly suited to this style and he can make teams pay.
He will win plenty of free-kicks, so one of the priorities for United this summer needs to be recruiting a set piece specialist.
Most noticeable was the way James gave the game a spark whenever got the ball.
Old Trafford has been crying out for a player like this, probably since Ronaldo left, or if we are being generous, since Nani’s 2010/11 season.
We hoped Memphis Depay would be this player, but he was too full of ineffective tricks and too ponderous.
James is direct, ready to run full throttle at the opposition at every opportunity.
He takes the attention of opponents, last night often occupying two or three players at once. His United teammates will be able to take advantage of this.
So many times in recent seasons United’s home form has been poor, and there haven’t been enough players of attacking quality able to lift the crowd.
Games against PSG and Barcelona were a case in point, with the team failing to score. The crowd was up for it, but the players were unable to provide a spark.
James can do it, just with one run, he can lift the energy of the crowd and his teammates.
United have lacked this and it feels like we have finally bought the right player to do it.
Obviously expectations must be managed, and James has a lot to prove. Yet it’s a delight to sign a player of his calibre and potential when he is on the up, rather than when he is past his peak and for triple the price.
Add a few more quality signings to the mix and this is a transfer window with real potential.