Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has praised the impact young winger Daniel James has had since signing for the club following another goalscoring performance.
The Wales international was on target again for Manchester United in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton – his third goal of the season from just four appearances.
However, the Red Devils did not emerge from the south coast with all three points thanks to Jannik Vestergaard’s second-half header, which guaranteed the Saints a share of the spoils.
Speaking after the game, Solskjaer was quick to praise the contribution of James since joining from Swansea City this summer.
“He’s come in and made an impact ever since day one in training – [today] he made a recovery run, won the ball, went forward,” the Red Devils manager said in his post-match press conference.
“I think he’s an example for everyone. He’s our top scorer, that comes from his personality, his habits. He’s humble, he works hard and he knows he can improve.
“He knows he could have scored a few more [against Southampton] and we’ll work with him to get his quality even higher, better and then we’ll have a top, top player.”
James’ goal return has been even more important for United since they allowed attacking duo Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez to leave the club this summer.
In fact, the 21-year-old has provided nearly half of the Red Devils’ goals this season, and the lack of options up front has seen Solskjaer’s transfer policy draw criticism from several quarters.
Yet, the Norwegian insisted after Saturday’s game that he has enough experience in his attacking arsenal.
“Both Anthony [Martial] and Marcus [Rashford] they’ve played I don’t know how many games and they’ve had so many years in this football club, in this team,” said the boss.
“I expect them to be leading stars as well. And of course Dan James coming in as well, [although] we don’t expect him to score in every game he starts. Mason [Greenwood] was also unlucky [at Southampton]. We’re on the right track,” he added.
It was also a disappointing afternoon for defender Victor Lindelof at St Mary’s as he was out-jumped by Vestergaard for Southampton’s goal, a week after being at fault for Crystal Palace’s opener against United in the 2-1 loss.
Again, Solskjaer was quick to defend his player and said: “As a centre-back, once in a while you can lose a header and sometimes it’s just in those patches that it costs the team.
“Last week he lost one header that was the flick on, today he lost a header and they get a goal. You don’t expect centre-backs to win every single header.
“It’s not like he’s a little boy either, Vestergaard, but we should have done better, stopped the cross – it was just those were the ten seconds that they created something. Apart from that, I thought Victor did well.