Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has labelled Daniel James as their best player this season, claiming that such an assessment proves something unflattering about the club's current state. 

The Red Devils sit 12th in the Premier League without a win in three games, one of their worst starts to a Premier League season. With little to celebrate at Old Trafford, Ferdinand praised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s new summer signing.

Rio Ferdinand

Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “I don’t think [Manchester United] expected what they have got from Daniel James so early on in his career. He’s probably been their most influential player so far, so what does that really say about that squad?

“However, he’s been forced to the forefront as their main man in the team at the moment."

James joined ​Manchester United from ​Swansea this summer, becoming Solskjaer’s first signing as permanent manager. He has played all eight of their ​Premier League fixtures this season, with his three goals making him the Red Devils’ joint top scorer in the league.

Daniel James

Ferdinand went on to say: “You’re buying someone from Swansea who was probably brought in as someone who is going to flourish at a later date. That really says where Manchester United are at this minute in time.

“When you’re giving someone millions of pounds to spend money on to affect the squad, it doesn’t seem right to change that right away.”

James has enjoyed a decent start to life in Manchester, but the same cannot be said for the rest of the team. Solskjaer is under intense pressure as United are not even in the top half of the table, as time could be running out for the Norwegian.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Speaking about Solskjaer, Ferdinand said: “Time is not something that is afforded to many people in the game, but Ole probably needs another window to get more people in, shuffle the pack and get more out.”

Manchester United return from the international break with a huge game, as they welcome bitter rivals ​Liverpool to Old Trafford on 20th October. They then return to Europa League action four days later, travelling to Serbia to face Partizan Belgrade.