Dan James’ Manchester United future has taken an interesting turn this summer.
On a personal level, he has performed brilliantly at Euro 2020. But Jadon Sancho’s imminent Old Trafford arrival means James may struggle for starts next season.
And that is where a potential loan move comes in.
According to the Sun, Brighton are eying James this summer and would consider a temporary move if a permanent deal cannot be agreed. That may be the ideal scenario for James.
After all, he will not want his United adventure to end so soon. The £15million signing (BBC) may struggle for consistency, but he always tries his best, and that can’t be said of every footballer.
He clearly loves playing for United and he has performed well in some big games for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Given his speed, his work-rate, and the fact that he is still only 23, United are unlikely to sell James this summer.
Even with Sancho’s big-money move, Solskjaer will want to keep as many out-and-out wingers in the fold as possible. He clearly likes James and sending him on loan could be best for all concerned.
Another Premier League club would be getting one of the fastest wide men in the game – with a point to prove. James would get regular game time. And United can see if he has a long-term future at Old Trafford.
A year away could help
Wingers can be frustrating beasts and James is no different. When he is on form, he can be unplayable. But he can also drift out of games and his end product needs work.
Nani was similar in his early years at Old Trafford and ended up with at least one great season under his belt.
A loan move for James would allow him to make his mistakes and find his consistency away from the United glare.
He could quickly be pulled or fall out of favour in Manchester. But he would play practically every week at some other top-flight clubs regardless of form.
That is what he needs right now. United could ultimately see a far better player return as a result.