Football

In focus: James Wilson (Manchester United)

James Wilson - Another hot prospect for David Moyes (©GettyImages)
James Wilson - Another hot prospect for David Moyes (©GettyImages).

Manchester United pride themselves on youth development, producing players within their own academy and guiding them into the first team. It has always been the case, from the Busby Babes of the '50s to Fergie's Fledglings in the early '90s, but who is next to step off the Old Trafford production line?

James Wilson, 18, has just returned from injury to blast home a hat-trick against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the U-21 league. His future looks bright for both United and England, as a natural finisher, with a deadly left foot and pace to burn.

Wilson is energetic and works tirelessly, pressing from the front. Defenders fear pace, and Wilson uses his effectively both in hunting possession and driving forward with the ball at his feet as an astute dribbler. 

The England U-19 international is also adept on the wing, but is best utilised through the middle, where he's also able to hold up possession and bring team-mates into play. Wilson was brought into the limelight with a five goal haul against Newcastle for United's U-18 side back in 2012. 

The forward is being tipped to make the 2014/15 pre-season tour for Manchester United and make the step up to the first team, following in the footsteps of Adnan Januzaj. He has provided 5 goals in 6 appearances for United in the UEFA youth league, which gives an insight into his prolific goal scoring record at every youth level.

Wilson has often played for older age groups throughout his fledgling career, making his debut for United's U-18's as a 15 year old. It will not surprise anyone to learn that he scored on that debut against Everton. 

It's important that Wilson continues his development from here. It's quite clear that he possesses attributes that cannot be taught - natural pace and finishing ability. He has a lethal left-foot, but is clearly proficient with his right as well.

However, he needs to bulk up before he can be considered a viable option for the United first team. As is often the case, a loan away from the club to gather valuable first team experience could be the answer next season as he continues to destroy U-21 defences. 

Wilson is down the pecking order at Manchester United, but with the potential departures of Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez, there could be an opportunity for the young forward to state his claim and give Moyes reason to not delve into his transfer funds for another striker. If Wilson continues in the same goal scoring vain, he'll give Moyes something to think about. 


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Topics:
James Wilson
Manchester United
Football
Premier League

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