Daniel James lays Man Utd improvement at door of link-up man

Dan James TEAMtalk

Daniel James believes the return of Anthony Martial to Manchester United’s attack has been monumental.

The £15million summer signing from Swansea says that United now have that “focal point” in attack after Martial’s recent return from injury.

Martial has been missing for two months with a hamstring problem, but he returned against Liverpool from the bench and has since started the last three Premier League games.

The French forward has scored once and earned two assists in those three games and James believes the return of the forward has been crucial.

“Since he’s come back in we’ve got that focal point,” James told the Daily Mirror. “He’s a great link-up player. He can come short or go in behind.

“It’s been important for me and for Marcus since he’s come back into the team to get that interlink. Since he’s come back he’s got goals and he’s got assists and he’s been great for us.

“It was important to get three points going into the international break and move up the table. When we get back we’ve got a tough opposition against Sheffield United.

“The boys who aren’t going away on internationals can have a break now and then we’ve got a nice build up next week to go there and really perform.”



The speedy winger also believes United have turned a corner after climbing up to seventh place in the table.

“The football we played was great,” added James. “We knew they were going to play, it was just about stopping that high up.

“I think that’s what we did and that’s where we got the goals from, winning it back in midfield and playing it forward.

“We’re really enjoying our football at the minute. Maybe it’s taken a few weeks to mould, but we’ve all got that connection together and it’s important.”

James, who was apparently targeted by Brighton, was on the end of some rough treatment on Sunday as Lewis Dunk and Dan Burn were both booked for fouls on the player.

The 22-year-old remains unperturbed and says playing in the Championship toughened him up.

James added: “I’ve been used to it. Last season in the Championship, I had a lot of hits.

“If a defender hits you and you stay down, he might think he’s got the better of you, so to get up and keep going is important.

“I’ve always had it. It’s important to keep getting back up. It’s part of the game. If I can get forward and win free-kicks high up, then it’s good. It’s important to keep getting back up, keep playing and I enjoy it.

“Coming in was always going to be tough and it was going to be different from playing in the Championship.

“I think I’ve taken it in my stride, tried to calm myself down a bit and think ‘I’m here for a reason’.

“At the start of the season, I maybe didn’t think I would play as much. Every game I’ve been learning and the gaffer has trusted me and I’ve really enjoyed it.”