Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand says Daniel James’ growing influence so early on in his Old Trafford career underlines where the club are right now.
James, who has also established himself as a first-team regular for Wales, has made an impressive start to life in Manchester – scoring three goals in his four games following his £15m move from Swansea.
The 21-year-old has been a rare bright spark in what has been a dismal campaign for the Premier League giants to date.
They have made their worst start to a season in 30 years with the pressure intensifying on boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and Ferdinand believes a lot of pressure has been put on the youngster’s shoulders.
Speaking at the launch of South London 4 South London on Friday, he said: “I don’t think they expected what they got from Daniel James so early on in his Manchester United career.
“He’s probably been their most influential player so far, so what does that say about the squad?
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“You’re buying someone from Swansea who was probably brought in as someone who is going to flourish at a later date.
“But he’s been forced to the forefront as the main man in the team at the moment.
“That really says where Manchester United are at this minute in time.”
Ferdinand, who won six Premier League titles, the Champions League and two League Cups during a glittering 12-year career at Old Trafford, believes his former team-mate needs another transfer window to turn around the club’s fortunes.
“I don’t think this is the time for knee-jerk reactions,” he added.
“When you’re giving someone millions of pounds to spend money on to affect the squad, it doesn’t seem right to change that right away.
“It’s just throwing another regime out of the window and starting again and that’s happened far too often in recent years because of results and what not.
“There’s been a change in the recruitment, where they’ve brought young, British players into the club, which is a shift from previous years.
“It’s not afforded to many people in the game, but Ole probably needs another window to get more people in, shuffle the pack and get more out.
“It’s only then you can really judge him in my opinion.”