Football News

Daniel James identifies Chelsea legend he is using to help master his speed

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 14:38, 6 October 2019

Manchester United forward Daniel James has revealed he looks up to Chelsea legend Eden Hazard as he attempts to harness his speed on the pitch.

The 21-year-old Wales international joined the Red Devils from Swansea City during the summer transfer window and has subsequently become a regular fixture under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

So far James has played all but 75 minutes across Man Utd’s opening seven Premier League fixtures, in which he’s scored three goals, making him the club’s joint top scorer alongside Marcus Rashford.

In a short period of time James has quickly established himself as one of the fastest players at Old Trafford with his speed and guile coming to great use. However, it’s clear that he is not yet the finished product and currently lacks the consistency that separates the good from the great.

The Beverley-born winger remains keen to continue his development, and hasn’t stop learning from others.

When it comes to role models, James has cited Chelsea legend and Real Madrid’s latest galactico Hazard as a reference, especially when it comes to making the best use of his speed on the pitch.

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“The way Hazard was at Chelsea – his movement in behind, when to go and when to stay – he’s so quick, but the way he stops people and goes, and little one-twos, getting shots off quickly is something he’s done his whole career,” he told BBC Sport.

“Getting in the box for tap-ins is something I need to improve on. When Hazard does a one-two you can’t get anywhere near him.

“When I was younger, people said to me you won’t always be able to rely on speed. I used to just kick it past players and run – but nowadays that won’t happen, especially when people bank up on me.”

Settling into life at Old Trafford: Five key things to know…

  • James joined Man Utd from Swansea City in the summer for a reported £15m.
  • He’s since become a regular fixture under Solskjaer.
  • James has played in each of Man Utd’s opening seven Premier League games, missing just 75 minutes of action.
  • He’s registered three goals, making him the club’s leading scorer alongside Marcus Rashford.
  • James had revealed he’s using Chelsea legend Hazard as a source of inspiration to become a better footballer.