Daniel James (footballer)

Daniel James
Daniel James Wolves vs Man U 2020-01-04 (cropped).jpg
James playing for Manchester United in 2020
Personal information
Full name Daniel Owen James[1]
Date of birth (1997-11-10) 10 November 1997 (age 23)[2]
Place of birth Kingston upon Hull, England
Height 5 ft 7 in (1.71 m)[3]
Position(s) Winger
Club information
Current team
Leeds United
Number 20
Youth career
2006–2014 Hull City
2014–2016 Swansea City
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2016–2019 Swansea City 33 (4)
2017Shrewsbury Town (loan) 0 (0)
2019–2021 Manchester United 50 (6)
2021– Leeds United 0 (0)
National team
2013–2015 Wales U17 8 (2)
2015–2016 Wales U19 5 (1)
2017 Wales U20 3 (1)
2016–2018 Wales U21 11 (0)
2018– Wales 25 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:51, 31 August 2021 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 17:51, 5 September 2021 (UTC)

Daniel Owen James (born 10 November 1997) is a professional footballer who plays as a winger for Premier League club Leeds United and the Wales national team.

James made his professional debut for Swansea City in February 2018, and signed for Manchester United in June 2019. He made his senior Wales debut in November 2018, having previously represented the nation at various youth levels, and was part of the squad at UEFA Euro 2020.

Early life

James was born in Kingston upon Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire[4] to Elaine and Kevan James.[5] He was raised in the nearby village of South Cave[5] and attended South Hunsley School in Melton.[4]

Club career

Swansea City

Youth and beginnings

A highly regarded prospect of the Hull City academy side, James joined Swansea City in 2014 for an initial fee of £72,000,[6] immediately becoming part of their U18 academy side. By the 2016–17 season, James had become an integral part of the Swansea U23 side who gained promotion to the PDL Division 1, winning the league by an 11-point margin. Additionally, James contributed to the side winning the Premier League Cup, and reaching the semi-finals of the Premier League International Cup and the quarter-finals of the EFL Trophy.

Following his impressive displays in the development squad,[7] James was included in the first-team squad for the first time in January 2016 for the FA Cup defeat to Oxford United.[8] Although James did not make an appearance off the bench, his progress was deemed sufficient for him to be offered a new three-year contract the following week.[9] He was again named on the bench for a Premier League fixture against Stoke City in October 2016.[10]

On 30 June 2017, James signed for League One club Shrewsbury Town on loan until the end of the season.[11] His loan deal was terminated by mutual consent on 31 August 2017, after he failed to force his way into the starting 11.[12] James' only inclusion in a matchday squad was as an unused substitute in an EFL Cup first round tie against Nottingham Forest.[13]

First team breakthrough

On 6 February 2018, he made his Swansea first-team debut as a late substitute, scoring in the 82nd minute of an 8–1 FA Cup victory over Notts County.[14]

He made his league debut for Swansea on 17 August 2018 in a 0–0 draw against Birmingham City in the EFL Championship.[7] He scored his first league goal for the club on 24 November 2018 in a 4–1 home defeat against Norwich City.[15] In December 2018, with James now a regular and one of the standout performers for Swansea,[16] manager Graham Potter revealed that the club were looking to open talks with James over a new contract.[17] Despite discussion of a move to Leeds United during the January 2019 transfer window,[18][19] James was named in the starting line-up for Swansea against Birmingham City on 29 January, with James scoring his second goal of the season in a 3–3 draw.[20]

On 31 January 2019, with James expressing his desire to leave Swansea to join Leeds United, a structured £10 million fee was agreed between the two clubs, James agreed terms and completed the medical at Leeds,[21] and was at Elland Road conducting signing interviews and announcement photoshoots ahead of the deal being completed.[22] However, after speculation of a disagreement between Swansea owners and their chairman regarding the structure of the deal only an hour before the transfer window's 11 pm deadline, James was left at Elland Road awaiting the deal to be signed off by Swansea, with the window closing at 11 pm.[23]

After Swansea failed to complete the deal, James' agent said it was "very disappointing", stating: "Swansea made no attempt to keep the player and at the first sign of money they couldn't show him the door quickly enough."[24][25] At the end of the 2018–19 season, with Leeds missing out on automatic promotion, Leeds head coach Marcelo Bielsa said that he refused to blame the club for missing out on James, but said, "I'm not underlying the importance of the absence of James".[26]

Manchester United

On 6 June 2019, James underwent a medical with Premier League club Manchester United ahead of a transfer for a reported fee of £15 million with the potential for additional payments.[27] The following day, United announced they had agreed terms, "in principle", with Swansea for the signing of James.[28] On 12 June 2019, United officially announced the signing of James on a five-year contract, with an option to extend for a further year.[29] He scored his first goal for the club on his competitive debut, coming on as a substitute to score United's final goal in a 4–0 win over Chelsea.[30] He also scored in United's 2–1 loss against Crystal Palace.[31] In only his fourth game for United he scored his third goal for the club in a 1–1 draw with Southampton,[32] which was later voted goal of the month by United fans.[33] James was also voted United player of the month for August.[34] In March 2020, Daniel James ended a seven month goal drought by scoring in a 5–0 win over LASK, the final game before the suspension of football caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.[35] Despite the goal drought, James ranked number one in the Manchester United assist chart at the time of suspension.

On 20 December 2020, James scored his first league goal of the season in a 6–2 win against Leeds United.[36] On 2 February 2021, he scored United's Premier League record-equalling goal in the 9–0 home win against Southampton.[37]

Leeds United

James signed for United's Premier League rivals Leeds United on 31 August 2021 for an undisclosed fee on a five-year contract, having nearly joined the club two-and-a-half years prior to the transfer.[38] Many news outlets were reporting the fee to be £25 million.[39]

International career

Youth levels

Born in England, James qualifies to play for Wales through his late father, Kevan,[40] who was born in Aberdare.[7] James scored at the Toulon Tournament playing for Wales U20 in a 1–0 win over Bahrain U20 after he won and scored the resulting penalty.[41]

Senior team

James received his first senior call-up for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying game against Serbia in 2017 by manager Chris Coleman[7] and subsequently made his full Wales debut under Coleman's successor, Ryan Giggs, in a match against Albania in November 2018, playing the first 58 minutes of the game.[42] James scored his first Wales goal in only his second cap, netting the only goal of the game in the opening minutes against Slovakia in his competitive home debut.[43] During the September international break, James netted the only goal in a friendly win against Belarus.[44] In May 2021, he was selected for the Wales squad for the delayed UEFA Euro 2020 tournament.[45]

Style of play

James can play as a winger, and also as an attacking midfielder.[10] He is known for his pace and skill.[16]

Career statistics


As of 31 August 2021
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup EFL Cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Swansea City U21 2016–17[46] 3[a] 1 3 1
2017–18[3] 1[a] 0 1 0
Total 4 1 4 1
Swansea City 2017–18[47] Premier League 0 0 1 1 1 1
2018–19[48] Championship 33 4 4 1 1 0 38 5
Total 33 4 5 2 1 0 39 6
Shrewsbury Town (loan) 2017–18[47] League One 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Manchester United 2019–20[49] Premier League 33 3 3 0 4 0 6[b] 1 46 4
2020–21[3] Premier League 15 3 1 0 1 0 9[c] 2 26 5
2021–22[50] Premier League 2 0 2 0
Total 50 6 4 0 5 0 15 3 74 9
Leeds United 2021–22[50] Premier League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career total 83 10 9 2 6 0 15 3 4 1 117 16
  1. ^ a b Appearance(s) in EFL Trophy
  2. ^ Appearances in UEFA Europa League
  3. ^ Two appearances and one goal in UEFA Champions League, seven appearances and one goal in UEFA Europa League


As of match played 26 June 2021[51]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Wales 2018 1 0
2019 9 2
2020 7 1
2021 7 1
Total 24 4
As of match played 26 June 2021
Wales' score listed first, score column indicates score after each James goal[51]
List of international goals scored by Daniel James
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 24 March 2019 Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales 2  Slovakia 1–0 1–0 UEFA Euro 2020 qualification
2 9 September 2019 Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales 6  Belarus 1–0 1–0 Friendly
3 18 November 2020 Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales 17  Finland 2–0 3–1 2020–21 UEFA Nations League B
4 30 March 2021 Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff, Wales 19  Czech Republic 1–0 1–0 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification


Swansea City U23

Manchester United



  1. ^ "Premier League clubs publish 2019/20 retained lists". Premier League. 26 June 2020. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  2. ^ "Daniel James: Overview". Premier League. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "D. James: Summary". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  4. ^ a b Buckingham, Philip (15 October 2018). "Former Hull City rookie Daniel James in line for full international honours with Wales". Hull Live. Local World. Retrieved 12 June 2019.
  5. ^ a b Whitwell, Laurie (11 November 2019). "From a 'funny little fat kid' to United's flying machine – the making of Daniel James". The Athletic. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  6. ^ "Highly-rated Hull City youngster Dan James 'lost' to Swansea City for £72,000". Hull Daily Mail. 25 June 2014. Archived from the original on 16 April 2015. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d "Daniel James". Swansea City A.F.C. Archived from the original on 10 May 2019. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  8. ^ Higginson, Marc (10 January 2016). "Oxford United 3–2 Swansea City". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  9. ^ "Swans U21s' Keston Davies and Daniel James sign new contracts". Swansea City A.F.C. Archived from the original on 28 May 2017. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  10. ^ a b Booth, Dominic (1 November 2016). "Who is Daniel James? What you need to know about the exciting Swansea City teenager who made the bench at Stoke City". WalesOnline. Media Wales.
  11. ^ "Daniel James: Swansea City winger joins Shrewsbury Town on season-long loan". BBC Sport. 30 June 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
  12. ^ "Dan James returns to Swansea". Shrewsbury Town F.C.
  13. ^ "Nottingham Forest 2-1 Shrewsbury Town". BBC Sport. 8 August 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2019.
  14. ^ Pritchard, Dafydd (6 February 2018). "Swansea City 8–1 Notts County". BBC Sport. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  15. ^ "Daniel James". Soccerbase. Centurycomm.
  16. ^ a b Coleman, Tom (4 November 2018). "The heartwarming moment Swansea City star Daniel James is given an early birthday surpriseCity". WalesOnline. Media Wales.
  17. ^ "Daniel James: Swansea City open to talks with Wales winger over new deal". BBC Sport. 21 December 2018.
  18. ^ "Daniel James: Leeds United link 'just rumours' says Swansea City winger". BBC Sport. 20 January 2019.
  19. ^ "Leeds United's fight to sign Daniel James heading for the wire as transfer deadline looms". Yorkshire Evening Post. 30 January 2019.
  20. ^ "Swansea 3 Birmingham 3". BBC Sport. 30 January 2019.
  21. ^ "Daniel James undergoing Leeds United medical after club agree deal with Swansea City". Yorkshire Evening Post. 31 January 2019.
  22. ^ "Leeds United Deal for Dan James Collapses". The Yorkshire Post. 31 January 2019.
  23. ^ "Leeds furious after Swansea pull plug on £10m Daniel James deal in final minutes of deadline day". The Daily Telegraph. 31 January 2019.
  24. ^ "The agent of Swansea City winger Daniel James has revealed his disappointment at the final-hour collapse of his client's deadline day move to Leeds United". FourFourTwo. Future. 1 February 2019.
  25. ^ "What Leeds United and Swansea City have said about Daniel James' failed move". WalesOnline. Media Wales. 1 February 2019.
  26. ^ "Leeds United boss Marcelo Bielsa's candid admission over botched move for Swansea City's Daniel James". WalesOnline. Media Wales. 28 April 2019.
  27. ^ "Daniel James completes Manchester United medical". Sky Sports. 7 June 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  28. ^ "Confirmed: Man Utd agree deal in principle to sign Daniel James". Manchester United F.C. 7 June 2019. Retrieved 7 June 2019.
  29. ^ "Welsh winger Daniel James seals transfer to Man Utd". Manchester United F.C.
  30. ^ "Manchester United 4–0 Chelsea". The Guardian. 11 August 2019. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  31. ^ "Manchester United 1–2 Crystal Palace". BBC Sport. 24 August 2019. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  32. ^ "Southampton 1–1 Manchester United". BBC Sport. 31 August 2019. Retrieved 31 August 2019.
  33. ^ "Daniel James wins Goal of the Month". Manchester United F.C. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  34. ^ "Daniel James wins first Player-of-the-Month award of the season". Manchester United F.C. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  35. ^ "Match highlights LASK v Man Utd Europa League first leg". Manchester United F.C. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  36. ^ Howarth, Matthew (20 December 2020). "Manchester United 6-2 Leeds United: Hosts up to third after thumping win". BBC Sport. Retrieved 20 December 2020.
  37. ^ Stone, Simon (2 February 2021). "Man Utd beat nine-man Southampton 9-0". BBC Sport. Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  38. ^ "Daniel James signs for Leeds United". Leeds United F.C. 31 August 2021.
  39. ^ "Daniel James: Leeds agree £25m fee with Man Utd for Wales winger". Sky Sports. 31 August 2021.
  40. ^ "Daniel James: Swansea winger withdraws from Wales camp after father's death". BBC Sport. 23 May 2019. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  41. ^ Gwilym, Andrew (2 June 2017). "Wales in knock-out hunt after Bahrain victory". WalesOnline. Media Wales.
  42. ^ "Dan's Wales pride". Swansea City A.F.C.
  43. ^ "Wales up and running after Daniel James' early strike sinks Slovakia". The Guardian.
  44. ^ "Giggs hails 'amazing' James for Wales winner vs Belarus". The Independent. 10 September 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  45. ^ "Uncapped Colwill in Wales Euro 2020 squad" – via www.bbc.co.uk.
  46. ^ "Games played by Daniel James in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  47. ^ a b "Games played by Daniel James in 2017/2018". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  48. ^ "Games played by Daniel James in 2018/2019". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  49. ^ "Games played by Daniel James in 2019/2020". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  50. ^ a b "Games played by Daniel James in 2021/2022". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  51. ^ a b "James, Daniel". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmermann. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  52. ^ "Swansea City U23s' draw earns them Premier League Two title". BBC Sport. 13 March 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  53. ^ "Under-23s win Premier League Cup final". Swansea City A.F.C. 15 May 2017. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  54. ^ Stone, Simon (26 May 2021). "Villarreal 1–1 Manchester United". BBC Sport. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  55. ^ a b "Grimes named Player of the Year". Swansea City A.F.C. 28 April 2019. Retrieved 10 September 2019.
  56. ^ Marshall, Adam (6 September 2019). "James wins Player of the Month award". Manchester United F.C. Retrieved 7 September 2019.

External links


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