James Wilson could be as important an inclusion as Anthony Martial

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In a week where Manchester United have invested a reported £36 million on 19-year-old Anthony Martial, it may well be the emergence of another 19-year-old striker at the club who plays a bigger role in determining United's success this season.

James Wilson has come up through a youth system that has failed to produce anywhere near the talent developed since the class of '92, but he could yet prove to be the first of many that the club have been nurturing in the Under-21 Premier League.

United's failure in recent times to regularly produce its own stars of the future has in many respects hampered their ambitions on the field.


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One must consider what the Red Devils might not have achieved without the 'Busby Babes' or 'Fergie's Fledglings' - suffice to say, probably not a lot.

And with their business in the transfer market coming short in forming a formidable team this summer, United will know their best chance of dominating English football will be to stay true to the formula that has often worked best for them - mixing youth with experience in exacting measure.

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With Manchester City's rise in recent times, United's share of the youth talent pool has become somewhat depleted, but at Under-21 level, they have still won the Premier League twice in three seasons, giving hope that by widening their net into Europe and beyond, they can make up any shortfall to develop a first team supporters can truly be proud of.

And with Wilson ending his season in the Under-21's on a high and his return at international level - scoring the only goal in a 1-0 over the USA Under-23's - United fans will be hoping he can step up to the plate and become an impact player off the bench - something the team will sorely miss in Javier Hernandez.

Louis van Gaal will be aware of this natural talent who, at his best, is a naturally gifted goalscorer capable of great things, but it's how the Dutchman integrates him into the team that might prove most telling as to whether he can become an outlet for his side and provide goals that perhaps the misfiring Wayne Rooney and indeed, the unproven Martial, can't.

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Premier League
Manchester United

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