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After impressing in loan spells with Championship sides Rotherham United and Huddersfield Town during the 2014-15 campaign, Manchester United youngster Reece James was sought out by Latics boss Gary Caldwell as one of his earliest acquisitions ahead of his first full season in charge.
Arriving on a three-year deal from the Red Devils, James joined up with his teammates in Scotland as they prepared for their League One season with games against Partick Thistle and Dundee.
An almost ever-present in Caldwell’s side up until an injury he sustained in January, James recorded 29 appearances in his debut campaign.
James’ sole Latics goal came on his final appearance of the 2015-16 season and it was a ‘Goal of the Season’ contender as he curled a fine effort into the top left corner from the edge of the area in a 3-1 win over Chesterfield at the DW Stadium.
After missing five months between January and May, James missed the promotion run-in and will be looking to get back into the side from pre-season onwards as Latics step up to the next level.
CAREER SO FAR
James began his footballing career with Rossendale United, before spending time as a youth at Blackburn Rovers and Preston North End, later moving to Manchester United for his final year as an Under 18.
The versatile left back made his professional debut in League One against Leyton Orient on 3 August 2013, whilst on loan at Carlisle United from Old Trafford.
James made his competitive debut for United against MK Dons in the Capital One Cup on 26 August 2014, coming up against fellow summer signing Will Grigg who scored twice.
The 21-year-old joined Rotherham United on loan in the 2014/15 campaign, playing eight times, including in the Millers' 2-1 victory over Latics at the DW Stadium. James formed part of the defence alongside his fellow summer signing Craig Morgan.
James had a second spell in Yorkshire during the 2014/15 season, this time he linked up with Huddersfield Town on loan for the final two months of the season, playing six times. He went on to score his first professional goal whilst on loan at the John Smith's Stadium, with the Terriers drawing 4-4 at home to Derby County.
Before making his competitive debut for Man United, James made an appearance for the first team during their pre-season clash with LA Galaxy in July 2014, scoring a brace in a 7-0 victory.