Daniel James issues warning to Man Utd team-mates after dream debut

Daniel James issues warning to Man Utd team-mates after dream debut

But the Welsh wizard knows him and his new Manchester United team-mates have to keep their feet on the ground – because the biggest challenges are still to come.

James could have been forgiven for floating out of the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ on Sunday night after scoring within minutes of going on as a late substitute in United’s 4-0 hammering of Chelsea.

Just two summer’s ago James, 21, saw his loan-move to Shrewsbury terminated within eight weeks of arriving after he failed to make an impact.

The closest he got to the first team squad was being named an unused substitute in an EFL first round tie against Nottingham Forest.

But he returned to Swansea, made his full debut 18 months ago and started a meteoric rise that saw him called into the Wales squad before securing a £15m move to United this summer.

His rapid rise to the top is becoming the stuff of legend – and James admits he is still pinching himself when he looks in the mirror.

The winger said: “I don’t think you could write it, really. As soon as I signed here, I dreamed of something like that to happen – and it did.

“To score on my debut and to win 4-0 at Old Trafford in the first game, no, I don’t think you could imagine something like that.

“For me, it was just about going out there and enjoying it, and obviously if I got an opportunity to try and take it, and thankfully I did. It’s a day I’ll never forget.”

Despite United’s thrilling start to the campaign, James know more than most about taking things for granted.

Dan James

James scored on his United’s fourth against Chelsea on his debut (Pic: GETTY)

He pointed to the heavens in tribute to his late father after putting the finishing touches to United’s triumph in front of the Stratford End.

His dad Kevin died suddenly aged 60 just days before James completed his switch to United – and his loss means there is no danger of him losing perspective.

James added: “Every day, I miss him. He always drove me on when he was here.

“There are times when I am a bit down about it, but what he would say is just keep playing and working hard. I know he is looking down on me now.

“Obviously we won 4-0, but there’s stuff we can work on and it’s going to be a tough game next week at Wolves.

James

James was given a brief cameo having started on the bench (Pic: GETTY)

“I think everyone was raring to go against Chelsea anyway, but we can’t get carried away.

“We’ve got a big, big test at Wolves next week and obviously they’ve shown how good they were, especially against us last season, so we’ve got to be prepared for that.”

James will do well to remain grounded after this, but he will soon discover what a rollercoaster ride life can be at one of the world’s biggest clubs.

Despite taking Frank Lampard’s men to the cleaners, United were second best in the first half and had to rely on a combination of David De Gea’s brilliance and some good fortune to come through unscathed.

Maguire

Maguire was another of United’s debutants to impress (Pic: GETTY)

United won’t keep getting defensive favours like the ones Kurt Zouma’s gifted them, while flaws remain in vital areas of the field for Solskjaer.

Doubts remain about the future of Paul Pogba, who has revealed he could still leave, while Romelu Lukaku has not been replaced.

Marcus Rashford scored twice and looked as sharp as a tack, but he is just one serious injury away from leaving United with a gaping hole to fill in attack.

With the exception of Pogba, United still lack world class talent in midfield, while at the back Solskjaer is carting too much dead wood around with him in the shape of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo.

Positive signs are there and Solskjaer has put a building block in place. But Rome wasn’t built in a day and the Norwegian still has a long, long way to go before he can sit back and claim he has created a masterpiece.

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