Manchester United had a shining light in their disastrous season under David Moyes in Adnan Januzaj. Under Louis van Gaal, the Red Devils have another gem in Staffordshire-born James Wilson. The youngster has been at the club since age seven and has progressed through the club’s youth ranks to being a squad rotation player. Wilson was handed his first-team debut by then caretaker boss, Ryan Giggs, following the departure of David Moyes. Wilson scored a brace on the night against Hull and took both goals well. With the signing of Radamel Falcao amongst other stellar names, Wilson was set to feature on the periphery since he had to compete with the Colombian, the skipper Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie for a place in Manchester United’s attack. However, his hunger and pace coupled with the average performances of van Persie and Falcao has earned him more minutes than he may have dreamt of before the season began. With van Gaal claiming not to have a ’20-goal striker’, Manchester United are set to spend big especially in attack and we ask what next for young James Wilson.
Possibility of Loan
The most likely option for Wilson is to be sent out on loan to gain more first-team experience. Wilson, 19, will profit from playing regularly and a loan move to a Championship side or a Premier League side with an assurance of playing regularly would be the best move. However, loan moves for young Reds have not ended well for Manchester United in recent times with Tom Cleverley, Michael Keane, Federico Macheda and Nick Powell failing to break into the first-team after loan spells.
Staying at Manchester United
After spending over ten years at the club, Wilson falls under the category of homegrown players and should Manchester United make it to the Champions League next season, there’s a possibility Wilson will stay. Wilson knows in and out of the club but is still fresh to the first-team set-up and will benefit massively from another year in the first-team. Should Louis van Gaal pick the option to sign Falcao in the summer, then Wilson’s pace will give United another dimension in attack.
Playing for United’s U21
Considering Wilson is only 19 and still growing as a player, the third and most unlikely option will be to stay and feature for the under 21s. Wilson has been clinical for the youth side but hasn’t converted his brilliance to goals for the first team. Wilson has only managed one Premier League goal this season (Against QPR at Loftus Road). His rate of conversion in the under 21s suggest his quality is past that stage but he can still feature at that level for one more season.
The decision is LVG’s to make and with the Red Devils set to spend big this season, we could only hope young James Wilson doesn’t end up being on the fringes of the United team or any other team for that matter but have a successful year next season.