Former coach Neil Mann explains why Manchester United are getting a superstar in Daniel James

by Leo Nieboer

Former coach Neil Mann has spoken of how he knew Daniel James would always be special ahead of the winger’s move to Manchester United next week.

It was announced by all major sources on Thursday that James had successfully completed a medical at Carrington to become Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first signing as Man United manager.

The deal is believed to cost around £15m with a further £3m in potential add-ons. United will officially announce the move next week.

Speaking on Thursday, Mann, who coached James as a 15-year-old back at Hull City in 2013, recalled how the youngster had something unmistakeably special about him.

James takes on a symbolic role as Solskjaer’s first signing at United. For David Moyes, it was Marouane Fellaini. For Jose Mourinho, it was Eric Bailly. Both of those acquisitions said something broader about the tangent United would take under those two very different managers.

What does signing James say about the direction Solskjaer wants to take this ambling team? Youthful exuberance and blistering pace aside, the Welshman’s arrival, if anything, indicates the sheer size of the rebuild job at Old Trafford. James feels like a starting point, an finger pointing in a certain direction as opposed to the destination itself.

And with pre-season just a month away, United have a lot more work to do.

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