Seemingly from nowhere Daniel James has electrified the Championship this season, scoring eye-catching goals and dazzling onlookers with his blistering pace.
The 21-year-old Swansea sensation put in a Man of the Match performance against Manchester City last month in the FA Cup which swiftly gained the attention of Pep Guardiola. Now WalesOnline are reporting that City have joined a long queue of admirers that includes Tottenham, Leicester and Bournemouth.
Is he all pace and no knickers though? Here’s what those in the know think.
After absorbing a stunning individual strike against Stoke last week James’ manager could contain himself no longer, saying via BBC:
“If you look at the performance, if you are being honest it’s above Championship level. I have run out of superlatives to be honest. His ability to run, his desire to run, his courage and then his quality – we are just lucky to witness it.”
This high praise followed Potter’s effusive thoughts after seeing his young winger torment England’s first choice full-back at the Liberty Stadium in mid-March, via BBC.
“Against Manchester City he matches the physicality of Kyle Walker, for example, and runs away from players at that level. That’s a direct comparison against Premier League players at the very top and you can see his quality.”
In what proved to be an auspicious seven days for James, he immediately followed up his name-making display in the cup with a winning goal to down Slovakia while gaining his second cap for Wales. In Ryan Giggs the left-sided wide-man couldn’t hope for a better mentor and post-game the Manchester United legend – so often taciturn – was clearly chuffed to have a mini-me in his ranks, via BBC.
“Dan has taken his club football into international football, because he’s been on fire.
“I was delighted he scored the goal, he was a constant threat and in the first half, we will have given the defenders nightmares because of his speed and his directness.”
The former Celtic and West Ham targetman would have loved a team-mate like James, causing havoc, creating space and dishing up chances galore. Speaking to talkSPORT recently Hartson was only too happy to lavish further praise on a boy wonder who is seeing his estimation grow each and every game.
“Dan James has got a bright future. He scored a goal in his second cap where he was starting on the left-hand side. He has ridiculous pace and played well against Manchester City in the FA Cup. He was almost out of the door and was up at Leeds signing for £10million. I think that will treble now with the market the way it is.”
Rarely does a youngster explode onto the scene so dramatically and with his quick feet and pace to burn James is a valuable commodity. Top-flight defenders will be dreading the potential prospect of keeping up with him next term.