Daniel James kicked off the Premier League season for Manchester United in stunning fashion. Bought from Swansea City for £15.3 million, James scored three goals in his first four Premier League matches for the Red Devils. At the time, James helped to carry Manchester United’s attack and looked like one of the transfers signings of the season.
Yet, just as James burst onto the scene with three league goals in five matches, the winger has faded just as quickly. James has not found the back of the net in his last eight Premier League fixtures although he has added two assists. The forward’s last Premier League goal came all the way back on August 31st against Southampton.
Daniel James Goal Drought
James’ goal drought has carried over into the Europa League and Carabao Cup. He has zero goals in four combined appearances and just one assist to show for his play. The winger’s lack of goals has gone hand in hand with the Red Devils’ overall inability to find the back of the net.
Take away Manchester United’s first match of the season, a 4-0 home win over Chelsea which looks like an anomaly now, and the Red Devils have scored just 12 goals in 11 matches.
While James isn’t scoring currently, he is exceeding his expected goals total, according to Understat.com. The attacking player is expected to score 1.96 goals. He is, however, under the total of expected assists. That number stands at 2.27 and James falling under the figure shows Manchester United’s poor finishing in the final third.
Is there more to come from Daniel James?
James appeared in 33 matches for Swansea City in the EFL Championship last season. He scored four goals and added nine assists in 2,506 minutes of football or about 76 minutes per EFL Championship fixture. This season, James has registered 985 Premier League minutes or 82.1 minutes per game.
The combination of added minutes, pressure, and quality of opponents are having an impact on the forward. In addition, international fixtures for Wales have piled up with Euro 2020 qualification on the line.
James is not only in a goal drought for Manchester United, but he is struggling to score for Wales. With the Welsh playing their final group stage game of Euro 2020 qualifying on Tuesday night, James hasn’t scored in an international match since September 9th against Belarus in a friendly.
The forward had been one of the breakout players of the start of the season but is in danger of falling to the wayside. If James is to remain a breakout player, he needs to step up and score more goals for the Red Devils.