While Dan James has struggled to get going for Manchester United this season, he shone on international duty last night.
The winger netted a stunning goal and bagged an impressive assist as Wales beat Finland 3-1 to earn Nations League promotion.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hope that display means James returns to United full of confidence.
United legend Roy Keane touched on James’s struggles when analysing his display for ITV’s Nations League Highlights Show (19/11, 12:18am).
“[It’s] great to see James getting his confidence back after a difficult spell at United,” said Keane.
On James’s assist to set up Kieffer Moore’s goal, Keane added: “Nothing wrong with it, keep it simple. I definitely think he’s had an issue with some confidence over the last few months.
“Great to see him back there with a spring in his step. He’ll certainly go back to United hopefully in a better frame of mind.”
Keane’s assessment of James is fair. He has looked low on confidence for a while now, and has struggled to replicate the form he showed in his early United games.
But last night was a big step in the right direction.
He had four shots – only Gareth Bale took more from either team – two of which were on target, including that wonder goal.
His assist was one of two key passes on the night and he whipped in three accurate crosses (which was the most of any player involved) as he was WhoScored’s star man.
As Keane says, hopefully that means he returns to United with greater confidence, ready to bring his international form to the club game.
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic injury blow tips Europa League tie firmly in United’s favour
- Are Manchester United really going to walk away from record-setting Sancho?
- United prospect Charlie McCann is making people sit up and take notice
- Mason Greenwood needs to channel Wayne Rooney to reach the next level
- Emeran and Hoogewerf step forward as United push more talent to under-23s
- United talent Ethan Laird shines again on loan for MK Dons
- Lukasz Bejger makes professional debut after leaving United
- Garnacho delighted to make under-18s return
- Timothy Fosu-Mensah suffers more cruel luck after United exit