Daniel James was never “Manchester United standard,” says Rio Ferdinand, with the Wales international winger told a £25 million ($35m) transfer to Leeds will prove beneficial to all concerned.
Two-and-a-half years on from missing out on a deadline day switch to Elland Road, the 23-year-old has linked up with Leeds in a big-money deal.
His qualities are expected to sit better in Marcelo Bielsa’s plans than they did under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with Ferdinand saying a man who made 74 appearances for the Red Devils was never quite ready for the step up from Swansea.
Ferdinand, who spent time with Leeds and Manchester United in his playing days, told his FIVE YouTube channel of James’ move to West Yorkshire: “They’ve been on him for ages, they’ve wanted this boy for time.
“Listen, Dan James, I don’t think he’s Man Utd standard, but he’s definitely Premier League standard and the way Leeds play, he’s going to be a problem for a few teams.
“The kid in that team will be getting the ball and getting forward quick, and that suits his game.
“When you have to break down two banks of four like Man Utd that doesn’t suit James’ game, he likes space. Leeds United for Dan James will be a fantastic move for both parties.”
James joined United for £15 million ($21m) in the summer of 2019, with that deal being done a few months after a switch to Leeds broke down.
Eyebrows were raised when the Red Devils bought into his potential, but an immediate impact was made as he opened his goal account on debut against Chelsea.
James faced fierce competition for places and was unable to nail down a regular spot on the right of United’s attacking unit. He did manage nine goals in his 74 outings but was always on borrowed time at Old Trafford following the emergence of Mason Greenwood and the acquisition of Jadon Sancho.
The Welshman could now make his bow for Leeds when they return to domestic action after the international break with a Premier League home game against Liverpool.