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'I want to be at Man Utd my whole career' - James studying Hazard as he looks to build on promising start

5:30 PM IST 06/10/19
Daniel James Manchester United 2019-20
The Welsh winger has shot to stardom in the opening months of the Premier League season, and he says he doesn't want to play anywhere else

Daniel James says he wants to play for Manchester United for his entire career and is studying Eden Hazard as he looks to build on his excellent start to life at Old Trafford.

The 21-year-old Wales international has been a rare bright spark in a turgid season so far for United, with three goals in his first seven Premier League games.

His breakthrough campaign in the Championship with former club Swansea only came last season, and the winger admits even he has been taken aback by his meteoric rise.

"I wanted to play as many games as I could but didn't think it would happen so quickly," he told BBC Sport .

"I still don't believe I'm a Manchester United player, it's the stuff you dream of. Even though I'm in the changing room and I know I am, you still have to pinch yourself every night that you can say you're a Manchester United player.

"To play here is an honour that I'll grasp every game. I've started better than I thought I would."

While James has shone, United’s more established stars have struggled to show the form they had produced when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer initially replaced Jose Mourinho as manager midway through last season.

The Norwegian boss is under pressure as a result, with United needing a positive outcome against Newcastle on Sunday to avoid going into the international break in the bottom half.

Despite the team’s struggles, James’ enthusiasm for the club hasn’t been dulled.

"This club is amazing. Coming out at the Theatre of Dreams is unbelievable," he said.

"I'll always love it and never get used to the sound of the fans. I want to be at the club my whole career.

"When I see scarves or shirts, I think: 'Why have they got my name on? They could have Pogba or Rashford or Lingard'. When people ask for pictures, I'll think: 'You don't want one of me, you want one with them'."

James’ blistering pace has proved a vital asset for United so far this season, but as teams become more aware of the threat he poses, opponents are putting more emphasis on snuffing him out.

The youngster knows he has to adapt his game to keep thriving and his role model on the pitch is Real Madrid’s newest Galactico .

"The way Hazard was at Chelsea - his movement in behind, when to go and when to stay - he's so quick, but the way he stops people and goes, and little one-twos, getting shots off quickly is something he's done his whole career,” James added.

"Getting in the box for tap-ins is something I need to improve on. When Hazard does a one-two you can't get anywhere near him.

"When I was younger, people said to me you won't always be able to rely on speed. I used to just kick it past players and run - but nowadays that won't happen, especially when people bank up on me."