Manchester United were reunited with Dan James briefly and the Welshman did not give the club any reason to regret his exit.
Quite rightly, Manchester United’s woeful track record of selling players has been criticised. The club often cashes in on players too late, not at all, or too cheaply.
There is one exception in recent seasons, the exit of Wales international Dan James.
Manchester United received a £25 million fee to sell Dan James to Leeds in August 2021, Sky Sports reported.
Dan James struggles
Manchester United took advantage of Leeds’ long-held desire to sell the winger and cashed in.
While his exit arguably had a negative impact on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s system, the concerns at United were that James simply wasn’t up to the task.
Selling the 23-year-old could have backfired on Manchester United. But it really hasn’t.
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When the two teams met in pre-season this past week, James was representing a Leeds side reeling from relegation to the Championship. He started the game on the bench, introduced with their second string at half-time.
James failed to make an impact up against Manchester United’s under-21 defence, and give any cause to regret his sale.
It hasn’t been an easy spell at Leeds for James. He was signed by Marcelo Bielsa, who was later sacked and replaced by Jesse Marsch.
Last season he spent out on loan at Fulham, where he made only five Premier League starts.
One of United’s biggest ever sales
Dan James is one of Manchester United’s top five biggest ever sales.
The list is topped by Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit in 2009, and followed by Romelu Lukaku and Angel di Maria.
Dan James ranks fourth, with his £25 million exit coming in marginally higher than David Beckham’s departure to Real Madrid in 2003.
The club have had a real issue with selling players for low fees, but in the case of Dan James’ exit, it is a decision and valuation the club got right.