Dan James looked furious after being substituted immediately after Wales late equalizing in a 1-1 draw with Switzerland in their Euro 2020 opener.
The Manchester United winger impressed Robert Page’s men in the Group A meeting – and was exasperated by the decision to pull him out just after Kieffer Moore’s header called up Breel Embolo’s opener.
Wales legend Dean Saunders, who was co-commentator for talkSPORT, has been baffled by the decision to remove James.
“I was just praising Rob Page for choosing to play Moore over Harry Wilson, but what does he do to take James away?” I hope he’s not hurt. He was the man of the match for me, ”Saunders said.
“He wasn’t very happy to come out, but he went straight into the tunnel. He was the man who created all the danger for Wales, all the game.
“He must be hurt, surely. Otherwise, why would he go away? Dan James had an exceptional game, he got them into trouble all afternoon.
Page confirmed after the game that James did not receive a blow, the decision being purely tactical.
“It was for the good of the team,” Page told the BBC.
“There are three games in a row [coming up] and he looked dead on his feet. It’s all in the team.
Earlier in the game, Saunders praised the Man United winger’s performance and energy.
He said: “Dan James looks like he can run for days here. He looks like an Olympic athlete.
And he was full of praise after the game, adding: “Dan James is wreaking havoc and he will do it against the best defenses.”