Roy Keane has backed Daniel James to return to Manchester United full of confidence after his stunning goal for Wales over the international break.
James has struggled for form during 2020 after making a stunning breakthrough at Old Trafford following his transfer from Swansea City in 2019.
As a result, Leeds United made tentative enquiries about signing James on a season-long loan but United never had any intention of letting the Welshman leave.
The 23-year-old was in sparkling form for Wales as they beat Finland 3-1 in the UEFA Nations League as he netted a spectacular goal and registered an assist.
James’ Premier League appearances have been limited to just three, totalling 180 minutes, this season, with Mason Greenwood and Juan Mata seemingly ahead of him in the pecking order.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a release,” James told BBC Sport when asked about going away on Wales duty. “Man United is my club and I love it there. Whether I am playing or not, I’m proud, as proud as I am to play for Wales.
“There are obviously times where I played a lot last season. I may not have played as much this season, but I am sticking in there and always in and around it.
“I feel really good at the moment. When I do play, I give my all. I bought into everything we wanted to do and thankfully I got that goal and assist.”
His performance caught the eye of United legend Keane, who was full of praise for James.
“[It’s] great to see James getting his confidence back after a difficult spell at United,” Keane said on the ITV highlights show.
Free Manchester United vs West Brom newsletter
United get their Premier League campaign back underway on Saturday when they welcome strugglers West Brom to Old Trafford.
The under-pressure Reds came from behind to beat Everton last time out thanks to Bruno Fernandes’ double and Edinson Cavani’s first goal for United.
The players are returning from the two-week international break, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping to have as few injury and fitness concerns as possible among the stars coming back from international duty.
We’ll be bringing you all the latest updates and build-up to the game, and you can have it all delivered straight to your inbox by signing up to our daily newsletter by submitting your email address in the sign-up box above, or click here – it’s free and it only takes a few seconds.
Before adding on the assist: “Nothing wrong with it, keep it simple. I definitely think he’s had an issue with some confidence over the last few months.
“Great to see him back there with a spring in his step. He’ll certainly go back to United hopefully in a better frame of mind.”