Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has offered James Wilson hope of featuring far more prominently in his first-team plans over the next few weeks, admitting that partnering the young forward with Radamel Falcao in a new-look strikeforce is a possibility.
Wilson just once in the Premier League this season, but the news that Robin van Persie is facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines with an ankle injury means he's got every chance of improving that tally between now and the end of the season.
Van Gaal has some difficult decisions to make over the next few weeks, because Falcao still looks well short of top form and Rooney continues to preferred in midfield. The Red Devils coach has admitted there's options to consider, with Wilson part of those plans moving forward.
Who will Van Gaal pick?
In an interview with United's official website Van Gaal talked about his strike dilemma, in particular potentially playing Wilson with Falcao now Van Persie is out.
Van Gaal responded: "It is a process between players. When Falcao is used to playing with van Persie then, when he plays with Wilson, he starts another process. That's why I started with Falcao and van Persie. Now maybe is the time to start a process between Falcao and Wilson.
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Wilson deserves his chance
"They haven't played so much together, I believe once or twice. You can see that Wilson is also left-footed like van Persie and Falcao is right-footed.
"I have used Rooney as the right-footed striker and Wilson as a left-footed striker, that is why I kept these four players at the start of the season. I expect, in theory, it is like that but, in practice, we have to wait and see."
United need pace
Van Gaal has to be seriously considering the 19-year-old for a sustained run in the side for one main reason, he could bring the pace and work-rate in attack that United need so desperately.
With Falcao and Van Persie leading the line United have looked far too static in the final third, easier to defend because there's time to cut off the supply line and ensure neither poacher gets the service they thrive on in dangerous positions.
Wilson's ability to stretch backlines is an attribute Van Gaal has to start using, creating space for his cast of talented mid fielders to arrive from deep and affect the game where it matters most.
United fans, would you like to see Wilson given a chance alongside Falcao, or perhaps even Rooney in attack? Let us know by having your say in the comment box below!
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