A report claiming Dan James could be sent out on loan by Manchester United if we sign Jadon Sancho has been dismissed by the club.
The Sun reported at the weekend that United plan to loan James out next season.
But this was promptly slapped down by the Manchester Evening News which reports United have ‘no intention’ of loaning James out.
This is the only decision United should make. Letting James go, in the event of Sancho signing, would be a backwards step.
Sancho would not be starting every single game if he signs. The club would be mismanaging him if we asked him to do so, and risk burnout or injury.
The way to have success in the modern game is to have a strong squad, and not just a first XI. United have fallen short here this season, but the first steps are being taken to try and address this.
James is the perfect back-up option for Sancho. We just bought him first.
He has gained a lot of experience this season playing at the top level for the first time, and he has shown plenty of positives, providing a team leading six assists, while scoring four goals.
There have been times where he has come up short, and this has been partly due to over-exposure, and mental and physical fatigue, with the demands placed on him.
Add in Jadon Sancho to take the burden of the pressure, and James should begin to flourish as an alternative next season.
United have the perfect super sub with James, who can come on and take advantage of tired defenders late in games. We saw this on his debut as he sprung Chelsea’s offside trap on the counter attack and netted the final goal in a 4-0 win.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, more than anybody, knows the value of an effective substitute.
The £15 million United paid for James may still end up looking like a bargain. But patience is required.
Fortunately United appear to have it, and plan to stick by the talented young Welshman, even if a club record fee for Sancho gets done.
It’s the right call. Sancho needs competition, and James has earned the right to challenge him.
After restoring his confidence with a goal against LASK in United’s final match before the break, James could surprise a few people in this last stretch of fixtures. The loan reports should motivate him to prove his worth.
Keeping him put next season really is the only option, for his development and for the good of the team, and it is good to see the laughable suggestion of the loan quickly being dismissed.
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