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Dan James is breathing much-needed life back into Man United’s wide man tradition

Think of Man United during the Alex Ferguson era and it was defined by sizzling wingers.

David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani… Ji Sung Park.

When the Red Devils needed some inspiration from out wide there was always someone there to create some wizardry.



But, since Fergie left United there has been a paucity of real wide men, laughing in the face of the longstanding tradition at the club.

Neither Angel Di Maria nor Wilfried Zaha ever settled into role of true flyers, Memphis Depay never looked like he had the quality to fill the no.7 shirt, while Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial have both dipped their toes into the wing role without ever truly making it their own.

And well, the less said about Alexis Sanchez’ time at Old Trafford, the better.

The fact Ed Woodward has had Ivan Perisic’s agent on speed-dial every summer for the last five years highlights just how desperate they’ve been to get a proper winger in.

Dan James has changed everything.

The most-exciting player in the Championship last season has brought his ridiculous pace and trickery to the Premier League with little difficulty at all.

The 21-year-old Welshman is breathing fire back into United’s tradition of out-and-out wingers causing havoc.

We know all about the speed James posseses, but after United signed him for £15m in the summer many thought it would take time for him to adapt before he would start producing.

That has not been the case whatsoever.

You can hear that shot, can’t you?

You can hear that shot, can’t you?

James thundered home a rocket to give United the lead against Southampton today mean he has scored three goals with his first three shots on target in the Premier League.

He is now level with the departed Alexis Sanchez for United goals… in 28 games less.

Most importantly for the Old Trafford faithful he is a young recruit that the fans can get behind for the long term.

He represents the swift attacking sides of the Fergie era with his lung-busting runs and outrages speed.

The fact that he can combine that with a trademark cut in from the left and shoot is a bonus which could become a very dangerous weapon this season for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Skills far beyond his years.