Louis van Gaal has come in for plenty of criticism after deciding to send James Wilson on loan to Championship high-flyers Brighton & Hove Albion, but he still feels that the move will benefit the striker in the long-run.
A vast majority of Manchester United supporters, as well as Old Trafford assistant Ryan Giggs, have expressed mixed feelings over allowing Wilson to leave at a time when the Red Devils require more goals.
Van Gaal's opinion
Van Gaal, however, thinks that by sending Wilson to Brighton he’s giving the 19-year-old a chance to get minutes under his belt that he otherwise wouldn’t obtain.
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"Until now he didn’t contribute so much," Van Gaal said, to Manchester United's official website.
"He played a few minutes in the Premier League and a few in the Capital One Cup and was not always in the selection of the squad of 18 players. Players of his age need to play and I can imagine that fans are saying that this is ridiculous, they have difficulties to score, but that is a short-term thought.
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"We have to think what is better for a player like Wilson and at the moment he does not have too many possibilities to play on a higher level."
What’s more, the Dutchman also looked to quell fears that United might be caught short without Wilson in their squad. He confirmed that he can call the forward back, if and when he’s needed.
The Call back
"We believe in him so he has to develop himself elsewhere. If we need him, we can call him back," LVG confirmed.
Obviously, on paper at least, allowing a striker to leave at a time when goals are a sought-after commodity, especially since neither Wayne Rooney or Anthony Martial are enjoying a good run of form, appears folly.
In Van Gaal's defence
That said, Gary Neville hit the nail on the head when he questioned critics of the Wilson loan on Twitter.
The former United right-back couldn’t see the point in the youngster waiting patiently on the subs’ bench, just in case an opportunity arose where he was needed.
I’d be inclined to agree, especially since United can recall him anyway. At Brighton, he’ll be given the chance to develop more under Chris Hughton whilst also restoring any confidence he may have lost struggling along at Old Trafford this term.
United fans, do you still disagree with the Wilson loan call? Let us know your thoughts on the matter in the comments box below.