This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking on talkSPORT, Danny Mills has revealed Manchester United are being far too reliant on Daniel James this season.
The Wales international has enjoyed a blistering start to life at Old Trafford, netting three goals in his opening four Premier League games. However, whilst the 21-year-old has performed admirably, the Red Devils have endured a slump in recent weeks since their 4-0 thrashing of Chelsea.
Now, Mills has insisted United are incredibly short on options up front, and questioned their reliance on James to provide them with an attacking spark.
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He said: “One minute Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s saying ‘Alexis Sanchez is part of my plans and there’s goals in him’. The next ‘no, we don’t need him at the football club, we didn’t want him here’. I know he has to come out and toe the party line to a certain extent but they’re very, very light up front.
“They’re relying on a young kid that’s come in, that’s playing very, very well at the moment but is that going to last? If Rashford’s not scoring you can’t be relying on Daniel James, the new kid on the block, to bail Manchester United out of trouble all the time.
“I think you have to look at the Manchester United bench and just think ‘actually, it’s pretty weak’. There’s not really an attacking threat where you can go ‘yes, he changes the game’. Daniel James should have been maybe that player to be on the bench, he comes on and might be able to do a bit in the last 25-30 minutes. But they’re relying on him.”
Whilst in an ideal word United may have wanted to slowly bed James into life in the Premier League, the nature of the situation at Old Trafford is that the club simply don’t have the time do so. Even in this transition period the Red Devils are in, Solskjaer’s side are still having to push for a Champions League place.
Leaving James out of the spotlight and giving him precious first-team minutes here and there isn’t an option. The Welshman’s emphatic start to life has only served to increase the amount of influence he has on the team, and Solskjaer is absolutely right to keep throwing him into the deep end. It really is a case of needs must for United.