Daniel James Says He Offers 'More Than Goals' After Ending Man United Drought

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2020

LINZ, AUSTRIA - MARCH 12: (FREE FOR EDITORIAL USE) In this handout image provided by UEFA, Daniel James of Manchester United celebrates with Odion Ighalo, Juan Mata and Scott McTominay after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Europa League round of 16 first leg match between LASK and Manchester United at Linzer Stadion on March 12, 2020 in Linz, Austria. The match is played behind closed doors as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).  (Photo by UEFA - Handout/UEFA via Getty Images )
UEFA - Handout/Getty Images

Manchester United winger Daniel James said he brings "more than goals" to the team after ending his scoring drought on Thursday.

The Wales international was on the scoresheet against LASK, helping United to secure a 5-0 win away from home in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League last-16 tie. Odion Ighalo, Juan Mata, Mason Greenwood and Andreas Pereira also netted.

Speaking after the game, James spoke to MUTV about his relief at breaking his goalless run but said he thinks there are other positive traits he brings to the side (h/t Chris Burton of Goal):

"Maybe I haven't scored as many goals as I wanted to recently. I got off to a good start but recently it has not been at the standards that I have wanted to be.

"Thanks to all of the coaches, the manager for trusting in me, working with me every day. I had that chance in the first half and I was a bit gutted about it, but it was just about going out there and if I got the chance, they said to drive and have shots. That's what I did and thankfully it went in.

"...You can score in every game, you can improve and look back on what you can do more. As a player, I give a lot more than goals, I try to create them and work hard for the team, but [against LASK] was about getting off the mark and now I can capitalise to get more now."

BT Sport shared the goal, which was United's second of the night, with James capitalising on some good work from Ighalo:

Football on BT Sport @btsportfootball

"The goal drought is over!" Daniel James bags his first goal in 32 games his relief is clear to see 🙏 https://t.co/1E14gUhPqM

Per Squawka Football, the strike had been a long time coming for the former Swansea City man:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Daniel James has scored his first goal for Man Utd in any competition since August 31st, against Southampton. Dan's drought is finally over. 🙌 https://t.co/TmO1ygtiYd

The winger made a huge impact at United earlier in the campaign, netting on his debut against Chelsea as a substitute and establishing himself in the side thereafter.

James continued his strong start to life in the Premier League with goals against Crystal Palace and Southampton before the end of August, but he's since found it more difficult to take opportunities. Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will hope Thursday's effort can restore the Welshman's confidence when he does get into dangerous positions.

As Statman Dave highlighted, United have spread around the goals in the Europa League this season:

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Man Utd have had 12 different scorers in the Europa League this season, more than any other club in the competition. Daniel James the latest. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 https://t.co/dwCOkxuTnz

James does offer plenty to the team when he starts, with his searing speed and relentless work rate enough to cause problems for opposition defenders.

While he helped United to almost certainly secure a last-eight spot in the Europa League, the competition's conclusion is doubtful. UEFA announced on Friday that the second legs scheduled for March 19 have been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.