James Wilson set for shock Manchester United start

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Football News

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal is ready to hand a surprise start to teenage striker James Wilson in this weekend's Premier League clash against Crystal Palace. (The Mirror)

The 18-year-old product of the Red Devils academy is in contention to replace the under-performing Robin van Persie after impressing the Dutch coach in training.

Wilson has been in fine form for Manchester United's development squad, netting six goals for them already this term, and also made a positive impact as a second half substituted in last weekend's derby defeat at the Etihad Stadium.

After being fast tracked into the senior squad the talented youngster is determined to take his opportunity and force his way into first-team contention following the summer departures of Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez.

That chance could come even sooner than anticipated if Wilson is selected to lead the line at Old Trafford on Saturday at the expense of the vastly more experienced £250,000-a-week star in what is a must-win game for Van Gaal's side.

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Check out all the latest Manchester United news and transfer gossip from today.

Manchester United gossip:

Manchester United officials will travel to Rome this weekend to watch AS Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman make his long-awaited return from injury. (Daily Star)

Louis van Gaal is a huge fan of the 24-year-old, who became the central figure of the Holland national team's central midfield during the current Red Devils boss' spell in charge of the Oranje, and has sent scouts to run the rule over the former PSV star.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes that Bruno Martins Indi is exactly the kind of commanding presence that the Red Devils need to shore up their leaky, injury prone defence, and is ready to table a £10 million offer to get his man in January. (The Sun)

Van Gaal's been persistently linked with a move for another Dutch international defender in Ron Vlaar, but Martins Indi is a younger, fresher alternative and would represent a signing which proves the United boss has a long-term vision in mind.

Gerard Pique found himself out of the starting lineup again as Barcelona faced Ajax in the Champions League last night, as rumours gather pace that he could be set for a return to Manchester United. (Daily Mail)

Luis Enrique decided against selecting the Spain international for the 2-0 victory at the Amsterdam Arena, despite the absence of fellow centre-back Jeremy Mathieu through injury.

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