Dan James was back in Manchester United’s line up to face Chelsea, making a fourth successive start.
The Welshman is back in favour under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and he has earned it by making the most of the limited opportunities he does have, netting a crucial goal in the win over Newcastle a week ago.
James spent a long while out of Solskjaer’s preferred side, and while James may not figure in many United fans’ dream XI, he is beginning to establish himself as a key squad player.
Gary Neville believes United should keep James, even arguing that the club will struggle to find a better option who is happy being a bit-part player.
Speaking to Sky Sports while commentating on the United versus Chelsea game, Neville explained: “I think Dan James should stay at United, for United’s purpose.
“You want players coming off the bench who can cause problems. He gets goals. As a fifth or sixth forward they’d do well to find better.”
James played all 90 minutes minutes in the 0-0 draw with Chelsea, which in itself showed how much Solskjaer is trusting him right now.
It’s probably misleading to say James has been happy on the bench as all footballers want to start every game, but he has shown he is unlikely to kick up a fuss and demand a transfer.
James has now played 15 times for United this season and he has chipped in with five goals, a very valuable return on his game time.
Last season he scored four times in 46 appearances, so he deserves credit for increasing his productivity.
If United did get rid of him on loan or permanently, the club would have to find a replacement, and one wouldn’t necessarily come cheap.
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