Daniel James will find Manchester United fans are desperate to take him to their hearts, according to Ryan Giggs.
The Wales manager and United legend believes James – the club’s £15m capture from Swansea City – will excite, inspire and infatuate the club’s fan base who are yearning for another dashing winger to get them off their backsides.
“The thing about Manchester United fans is that they absolutely love watching wingers,” says Giggs, who dazzled on the touchlines at Old Trafford for 24 seasons.
Alongside Giggs, there is a long history of wide boys – some who later moved infield – who enchanted United supporters with pace and trickery.
George Best may be the most iconic, but there has been Cristiano Ronaldo, David Beckham, Andrei Kanchelskis, Lee Sharpe, Steve Coppell, Willie Morgan and others all the way back to Giggs’ fellow Welshman, Billy Meredith.
“Daniel will get the supporters off their feet without a shadow of a doubt,” adds Giggs. “He has that ability to go past people at pace and United fans want to see that.
“When he’s running at pace, then it’s a fantastic sight for fans and a nightmare for defenders.
“He’s certainly quicker than me now and is quicker than I was at the same age, definitely. The fans are going to love him.”
James, 21, became Oli Gunnar Solskjaer’s first summer signing earlier this month and was a purposeful statement of intent.
After years of buying ageing superstars to try and re-ignite the glory days, the current manager intends to rebuild his squad with young, ambitious players who are years from their full potential.
James, with only one full season in first team football behind him and just four Wales caps, fulfils that brief as does Solskjaer’s second signing – Aaron Wan-Bissaka, the England U21 defender who has moved from Crystal Palace for £50m.
Only two seasons ago, James was farmed out to Shrewsbury on loan, but when he returned to Swansea he was guided by former manager Graham Potter to improve both his crossing and finishing ability to harness to his blistering pace.
Doubts have been raised over whether young players should move to United, given the struggles of some to shoulder responsibility for the club’s revival.
But even though the likes of Memphis Depay have failed to deliver in recent seasons, Giggs believes James is a good match for United under Solskjaer.
“He’ll be okay. He’s a good, level-headed lad from a good background and he wants to focus on his football and work hard to succeed.
“He’s also at a club that looks after players. They’re not going through the best of times at the moment, but I still think it’s the best club for him now.
“He’s a fabulous talent and is only going to get better and better, in my opinion.
“I was given a chance at 17 by Sir Alex and I’ve never been afraid to put young players like Daniel in my team, because they will give it their all and they’ll never stop surprising you.”