Manchester United’s decision to sign Dan James in the summer was met with encouragement and intrigue.
The Welshman’s performances so far with three goals in four games have already justified the decision.
At just £15 million, James already looks like an absolute bargain.
For once, United have bought low, and snapped up a rising star before he hits the big time.
Paying over the odds has long been an issue for United, dating back to passing on Michael Carrick for £3.5 million and buying him for £18 million two years later.
Harry Maguire cost Leicester just £17 million two years ago. This summer United paid £80 million for him.
With Dan James, United have signed James at exactly the right time and he has gone straight into the first team, seizing his chance.
Do it again
Signing ready made stars for upwards of £30 million has been a strategy United have tried over the last four years. It hasn’t really worked. Not with any consistency.
It is necessary to spend big, certainly if we want to sign Jadon Sancho this summer, but James proves United can go the other way too.
James’ success demonstrates that United must stay creative in the transfer market, and not just chase the obvious names.
There are more gems out there. Perhaps even in the Championship where James was playing just last season.
United’s three transfers this summer all look good, but the James deal is one for the club hierarchy to really be proud of.
Fans love big names, but they also want to see signs of intelligence in the transfer market too.
The United of the past few years would have splashed out on Gareth Bale.
This summer the club made a smarter decision, signing his international successor for a fraction of the price, and with his best years ahead of him.
Truthfully we believed this type of creativity was beyond United in the market. Even if James had not worked out, the fact the club were brave enough to take a low risk gamble was encouraging.
As it is, it looks like we may have hit the jackpot. And the club should be working on how to follow this up with more similar moves.
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