Manchester United winger Daniel James is no diver and needs extra protection from referees, according to club legend and Wales boss Ryan Giggs.
James was booked for simulation on his first United start in Monday’s 1-1 Premier League draw at Wolves, his every touch booed thereafter by the Molineux faithful.
But Giggs said 21-year-old speedster James – who scored on his United debut as a substitute in the opening-day 4-0 win over Chelsea – needs greater protection after being fouled several times at Wolves.
“You’ve seen he gets kicked a lot,” Giggs said after naming James in his 26-man squad for next month’s crunch Euro 2020 qualifier against Azerbaijan in Cardiff.
“Sometimes when you anticipate it, it can look live a dive. The speed he’s going at it can look worse, but I’m not worried about that.
“He gets a lot of stick and referees need to protect him.”
Gary Neville claims James can be quite rightly proud of the start he has made to his Manchester United career and Giggs admitted his versatility was an added bonus for Wales.
“I watched a lot of the pre-season games and he did well as he usually plays on the left.
“It gives me a different option as well if he’s playing his club football on the right. If I want to do that I can.”
Get the latest personalised Red Devils products on our new TEAMtalk Man Utd shop!
Giggs on Gareth Bale future
While James has settled in well at United following his £15million move from Swansea, Wales’ talisman Gareth Bale has had a difficult summer at Real Madrid.
The 30-year-old forward had a public fallout with manager Zinedine Zidane and was on his way to the Chinese Super League until a lucrative move collapsed at the last minute.
Bale is now back in Zidane’s plans and started Real’s opening league game last weekend, making the first goal in a 3-1 win against Celta Vigo.
“I kept in touch with him (over the summer) to see if he was all right,” Giggs said.
“It was a strange situation but hopefully now it’s sorted out – Gareth stays and plays games.
“It’s obviously positive at the moment, I’m really pleased with the situation and looking forward to meeting up.”
Asked whether Bale’s Wales career would have proved difficult had he moved to China, Giggs added: “It wouldn’t have been ideal.
“It’s a preference for your players to be in Europe with the travelling and the different calendars, but I’d still have picked him.”