United’s busy transfer window continues with the sale of young defender Reece James to Wigan Athletic for an undisclosed fee.
It won’t come as too much of a shock that James is moving on as Louis Van Gaal hasn’t been shy of moving on players he feels are surplus to requirements and it was always doubtful the 21 year old academy product was likely to figure at all this season.
The Manchester Evening News notes: Wigan Athletic have pulled off a coup by luring Manchester United youth product Reece James to the DW Stadium.
This time last year the 21-year-old was playing a prominent during United’s tour of the United States, scoring twice against LA Galaxy.
He then made his competitive debut for the Reds during their shock Capital One Cup defeat by MK Dons last August before going out on loan to Championship sides Rotherham and Huddersfield.
James signed a contract extension at Old Trafford in February but United have allowed him to leave for an undisclosed fee.
Whenever any young player leaves the club there’s always the element of doubt among many fans as to whether it’s the right decision. At 21 James is now at the age where he’ll be looking for first team football and while a loan move may have seemed the best option for everyone- there comes a time when a permanent deal is more beneficial for all concerned.
James has looked good for United’s reserves but similarly so did Saidy Janko- who actually beat James to the Denzil Haroun reserve team player of the year award two seasons. Janko was sold to Celtic as Van Gaal looked to trim his fringe players and now his former team mate has made a permanent move- we wish him well.
How many players has Van Gaal culled from the side that lost against MK Dons now….10? …coincidence? I think not!
Are the United Academy and U21 coaches to blame for the failure of their youth products to make a strong enough challenge for the first team or is the step up at such a high level simply too great for most youngsters? Was SAF to blame for beong too soft and not insisting on higher standards? Is it the down to the Glazers for failing to invest properly? Is Van Gaal a control freak who holds grudges and can’t stand to be associated with failure, or is he abolutely right to clear the decks and change the culture of 2nd best is good enough at United? Who will be next to face the axe?