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Dan James’ route back into Man Utd team following Jadon Sancho arrival

On the face of it, Jadon Sancho ’s arrival at Manchester United for £73million is a serious blow to Dan James ’ hopes of staking a claim in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ’s squad.

But despite United spending such a huge amount on the England international winger, the Welshman’s fears may have been misplaced.

James spent last season battling with Mason Greenwood and Anthony Martial for a place in Solskjaer’s plans, but would make the fewest number of appearances of the three.

Greenwood has transitioned back into a central striker over the course of pre-season, being selected there against both Derby County and Queens Park Rangers.

Dan James could be handed a route back into the Man Utd team, despite Jadon Sancho’s arrival

Martial meanwhile appears set to be moved on this summer, with the Frenchman having failed to produce on a consistent basis.

James’ situation is more curious, with the Welshman clearly viewed as a player for the future by many at United.

It appears that Solskjaer is also of that opinion, with The Sun reporting that he is reluctant to let him go this summer.

Part of the reasoning behind Solskjaer’s decision to keep James is the potential absence of Marcus Rashford.

The Englishman has been dealing with a shoulder injury for much of the year and looks likely to undergo surgery to correct the issue.

But Rashford does put himself under the knife, it could rule him out for as much as 12 weeks, leaving United’s attacking corps stretched.

The 23-year-old missed just four games in all competitions for United last season, but clearly struggled with his movement towards the end of the campaign.

While the Red Devils are believed to want to assess the situation themselves, Rashford is thought to be keen to undergo surgery.

Will Jadon Sancho be a success at Manchester United? Comment below.

It seems that Solskjaer is already planning for life without Rashford, with James the best placed member of his squad to deputise.

The former Swansea man split his game time fairly evenly between the right and left side last season, with Wales boss Rob Page solely using him in the latter position at Euro 2020.

He started every game as the Dragons reached the last 16 stage and was also better suited on the left for United last term.

He scored three goals and notched two assists from the left wing position last season, compared to two goals and zero assists on the right.

James was selected to start on the left in United's defeat to QPR on Saturday
James was selected to start on the left in United’s defeat to QPR on Saturday

In a hint that James will find himself on the left more often in the upcoming campaign, Solskjaer opted to start him there against QPR in United’s second pre-season friendly.

It was James’ first outing for United this summer having been granted extra time off for his exploits with Wales.

And though he has only recently returned to Carrington for training, Solskjaer has been impressed with the young winger.

“He’ll get 45 minutes as a start. He’s looked really bright, so he’s been looking after himself on holiday!” Solskjaer said.

With doubts over Rashford’s availability for the first few months of the season, James looks set to be handed the chance to revitalise his United career.

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