Manchester United sensation Daniel James has admitted that he came close to quitting the game aged just 12 - also revealing that he used to play as a striker when he was growing up.

It has been a rip-roaring start to Premier League life for the 21-year-old, who has taken to top flight football like a duck to water - scoring three goals in his first five league appearances to help catapult the Red Devils into the top four.

Having signed for ​United over the summer for a meagre £15m, James has looked undeterred by the pressures of Old Trafford and sits joint-top of the club''s top scorer charts this season alongside Marcus Rashford. 

While his ascension to ​Premier League stardom, along with his rapid rise to prominence with the Welsh national team, has been smoother than expected, it almost never came to pass - with the winger revealing to his club's ​official website that a decision in his teenage years nearly derailed everything.

“At the start, when I got to nearly 12 years old, I actually nearly gave up football,” he said. "I wasn’t enjoying it.​ I was telling my mum and dad: ‘I’d rather be playing other football.’ Or I was missing out with my mates. 

"I was training most nights and was missing out. I was coming back from school and wanting to go out with my mates, but I had to go training. 

Daniel James

"Obviously, I did enjoy my football – it was just that I was missing out with friends. But they are the sacrifices that sometimes you have to make as a footballer, to make it. I know nowadays there’s a lot more."

This all occurred during his youth career days at Hull - the place of his birth - a club where James spent 14 years of his life before moving on to Swansea in 2014. Before that move ever took place, however, the forward revealed a face-to-face meeting with Hull coaches made him realise his potential - and even change his position.

"I had a serious meeting with the coaches at Hull [for them] to say: ‘No, we think you’ve got the ability and we want you to stay on here’. Thankfully, from there, I did stay on," he added. 

"The first games were against Belgium and Switzerland, and that changed me as well because I used to play striker at Hull, and when I went away with Wales, I played as a winger. I think that’s why I’ve come to be a winger now. Otherwise, I think I’d play in a different position.”