James Wilson will become a Manchester United star

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When the duo of Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez departed Manchester United at the start of the Louis van Gaal regime, fans were overjoyed when the club replaced them with Colombian hit-man Radamel Falcao. 

Falcao, of course, despite his recent injuries, has been recognised as one of the world's greatest forwards, so it's not entirely surprising that the United faithful were excited by the prospect of the Monaco man battling it out with Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie for a place in the side's starting XI. 

However, the imminent arrival of Falcao wasn't the only reason the United boss sanctioned moves for Welbeck and Hernandez. 

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Time-and-time again in his early days at the Theatre of Dreams, Van Gaal pointed to James Wilson as a young man who would step up and play an active role in the first-team this season. 

Giggs factor

Wilson, of course, debuted last season under temporary - and now assistant - manager Ryan Giggs. The young English forward certainly made the most of his chance as he struck twice against Hull City on home soil. 

Giggs, then, clearly told Van Gaal of the qualities that the young forward possesses. In truth, though, despite a number of opportunities throughout the course of the campaign, the young striker may well regard the opening half of this season as a failure...

Don't get me wrong, the fact that he has played in so many games is a marvellous achievement. It's fantastic for him that Van Gaal has recognised him as such a top talent; he clearly thinks he has more to offer than two established internationals in Welbeck and Hernandez. 

But, until Saturday against QPR, Wilson had still not found the net this season. Thankfully for him though, the spot light has been well and truly away from him; everyone has been focussing on Falcao. 

There's no doubt about it it though, this past six months will ultimately prove vital in the youngster's progression as a footballer at Manchester United. He's been learning from Van Persie, Falcao and Rooney.

First goal of the season 

And now, he's found the back of the net playing for Van Gaal. For those of you that don't think his goal drought would have been playing on his mind then this is what he had to say post match Saturday: 

"It gives me great confidence as I've been struggling for my first goal this season off the back end of last season.

"Hopefully I can take it into the next game and the rest of the season.”

Every striker needs a goal; even a 19-year-old who is rated so very highly. So, it may well have come deep into injury time at Loftus Road, but his first of the season will give him major confidence heading into the final few months or so of the campaign. 

Don't be surprised if Wilson starts - and scores - in the FA Cup on Friday night. If he strikes in back-to-back matches, then he will expect to start scoring on a regular basis. It doesn't matter how young he is, he's good enough to start doing just that.

Watching him against QPR on Saturday, it was easy to see that he's already a top forward: he's a natural; his finish - at the second attempt - was a thing of beauty in west London. Ok, it wasn't a wonder goal or an incredible run or something along those lines, but it was a 'proper' striker's goal. 

It was a goal that Manchester United legend Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would have been proud of. After seeing his first shot saved by the impressive Rob Green, he was quicker to react than any of his opponents, and then he had the calmness and class to finish perfectly as he glided the ball into the bottom corner. This time Green had no chance.

He will become a star  

Don't get me wrong, one goal or one game doesn't make him a top striker, but everything about him was impressive on Saturday. He was hungry to succeed; he was desperate for the ball and determined to score. He ran at players and was often an outlet. He's everything you expect a young professional to be, but he backs it up with touches of class. 

There's something special about him; the way he carries himself on the pitch is to be admired. Unlike others before him, he seems ready to prove his credentials at the highest level. There's no doubt about it, despite only just getting off the mark, he can hit double figures this season. He's a gem, and one that may well light up Old Trafford for years to come. 

Manchester United fans: How good can Wilson become? Have your say in the comments section below! 

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Premier League
James Wilson
Manchester United

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