Gary Neville makes ‘failure’ claim about Leeds United star during Man Utd stint

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Leeds United winger Dan James has found himself on a rather unfortunate list of Gary Neville’s relating to his time at Manchester United.

Leeds United star Daniel James has found himself on a rather unfortunate list.

The 24-year-old burst onto the scene as a youngster at Swansea City, scoring four times in 33 league appearances from out wide.

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He was then snapped up by Manchester United after an infamous failed move to Leeds, with the Red Devils paying £15million plus add-ons.

During his time at Old Trafford, James made 50 league appearances, scoring six times, and while there were flashes, he generally struggled to kick on from his early days.

Leeds were able to finally pull off a deal two years later for around £25million, with Man United appearing to make a profit, though dependent on add-ons.

Still, James has found himself on a ‘red list’ that has been put together by Red Devils legend Gary Neville.

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Speaking on Monday Night Football, Neville put together a giant list of Man United’s transfers since 2013.

He then broke them down into green, amber and red, with green being the best value for money and red being the worst and deemed as failures.

Interestingly, James found himself on the red list having struggled to make an impact at Old Trafford.

“It’s been one of the problems Manchester United have had for 10 years is that they’ve flip-flopped from managers, strategies and they’ve allowed managers to control recruitment and that’s a massive issue,” Neville said.

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Neville’s list of United signingsNeville’s list of United signings
Neville’s list of United signings | Sky Sports

“We looked at the last 10 years of major signings at the club, £1.2bn has been spent and we categorised into green - have they provided value for money and have they performed for the club - have they done OK and been OK value or have they been poor value and not performed or one of the two.

“We think there’s only two signings at this moment in time that you can say have been good and performed at a decent level but you can argue that Fernandes has gone off the boil a little but the number that he hit in the last few seasons has worked. Ibrahimovic worked.

“Amber; Herrera, Shaw - we debated over Shaw - Matic, we debated over Juan Mata who is in red but could’ve been in amber, Cristiano Ronaldo - would’ve been green on last season but what’s happened in the last month in terms of he wants to leave, it’s a nightmare scenario, it’s not working.

“Seventy-five percent of those signings are in red, they’ve not worked, 20 per cent are an amber and only four (or) five percent of signings, we think, have worked.

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Signed from: Swansea City. Estimated fee: £15.3mSigned from: Swansea City. Estimated fee: £15.3m
Signed from: Swansea City. Estimated fee: £15.3m

“That is a horror story from a recruitment point of view. However, there’s a call for blaming the players and we’ve blamed the players over the years. I was excited about a lot of those signings as many people were, even last year with Varane, Sancho, Ronaldo.

“Di Maria came and we all went ooh he’ll be a good signing, we did it on Monday Night Football at Leicester when he went through midfield.

“But it’s become a graveyard for football players this football club where football players are now considering to even come to the club, they can’t get players in.

“I have to say where I got away from the players is that when a school is underperforming for years they get put under special measures by government and the kids don’t get blamed - that’s where Man United are. They’re in special measures and you can’t blame the kids anymore.”

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After leaving Old Trafford, James reflected on his time there by saying in an interview with the Telegraph: “I think everyone goes through part of their career where you don’t realise something is happening until you look back and have good people around you to analyse that.

“I started thinking, ‘What does he do that I can do?’ rather than thinking just about my game and being myself. It got to the point where I was being a bit safe in games.

“I got bought for my direct play, running in behind, running with the ball, trying things and not being afraid to lose the ball but slowly I started to come away from that and play a little safe.

“When I stepped back it was remembering to be direct, to be that person.

“Safe is dangerous in the position I play. You’re not there to do that - you’re there to score goals and make assists and run yourself into the ground on and off the ball.”

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