Matty James was a Manchester United player that by many were looked up on as one that could break into the first team at Old Trafford. The Burnley born midfielder was as promising as anyone in England, capped at four different youth levels for his country.
He never played a league game for Manchester United, but his loan spell at Preston North End back in 2010 and 2011, send a message to most managers of all those football teams around, seeing a player as a teenager battled well in the Championship with Preston North End, playing 28 league games and scoring 2 goals in total.
Nigel Pearson had seen the talent and decided to pay a fee said to be in the region of £1million, and he made instant impact at Leicester City. This is almost eight years ago, and in the first couple of seasons he was a key player.
He was part of the team for his first three seasons at Leicester, winning promotion to the Premier League in the first and staying up the next. But his injury problems made him left out of the first team picture when Claudio Ranieri arrived and he didn’t play a single league game during that fantastic 2015/16 season.
He played once in 2016/17, 13 league appearances in 2018/17, but no games last season. When he turned up from the bench a few weeks ago, in the game v. Man City, it was like a “ghost” return, and you started to wonder if this was a “clip” from a previous game a few years ago, but he had the same kit as the players on the day, so yes Matty was back again, as he came on in the 85th minute as a replacement for Dennis Praet.
Brendan Rodgers has given a report on his situation and it will be interesting to see how far this will go, as he at his best, is a brilliant midfielder, and with Nampalys Mendy and Wilfred Ndidi both a bit uncertain at the moment, can he manage to get back in form again.
He returned to action in January, playing in the U.23 set up. His appearances in the U.23 has ended in three wins and a cup loss to Newport County. Steve Beaglehole’s team is now 2nd in the PL2 table. Matty’s presence is noticed, and with him being contracted to Leicester City until 2021, it’s just about patience and enjoyment, stepping in if needed and maybe next season a loan spell could be happening. Still not more than 28 years of age and a player with a lot of qualities, but the odds of getting back “fully fit” in the Premier League is a bit low, wish this lad every luck he can get.