When Manchester United signed Daniel James from Swansea this summer many said he would once and for all solve United’s right wing problems.
For years United have struggled down the right and, while there have been calls for a designated right winger, in reality there should be enough versatility in the current attack to solve that problem.
“For me that left position was always my favourite but I like being versatile and playing anywhere across the front three providing I’m in the team,” James said on his favoured position after signing.
The passion and desire is there from the Wales international but the reality is he prefers cutting in from the left wing and has barely featured on the right for United in their opening four games.
James impressed while away on duty for Wales during this international break but again his performance, and spectacular goal, came from him playing down the left.
The same issue has been brought up about Marcus Rashford during this international break. He struggled as a No 9 in the final game before the break against Southampton and Gareth Southgate gave his opinion that he doesn’t believe the England international is a natural in that position.
“Although we’ve for a long time almost wanted Marcus to be that option as a nine, I’m still not certain that that is where he is happiest and where he does his best work,” the England manager said.
And on recent evidence he’s right.
Anthony Martial is the better option through the middle which leaves Rashford and James to support the France international. The problem Solskjaer has is that both operate best on the left.
United’s best attacking play is already coming down the left flank and while the addition of Aaron Wan-Bissaka means that attacking runs on the right are increasing there’s little to no link up play.
There’s Juan Mata but his best work comes as a playmaker in a more central role than out wide and Jesse Lingard hasn’t shown much promise down the right either.
Solskjaer’s plan is to create a well oiled attacking machine and the counter attack play in the first game of the season against Chelsea showed that he is moving closer to fulfilling his plan but the reality is the attack is still lopsided. But there’s enough talent to change that.
Something or someone has got to give and based on the evidence during the international break it’s going to have to be Rashford or James.