James Wilson is a name that any follower of Manchester United’s academy will be familiar with but if you don’t follow it, you may not know much about him – that will all change very soon.
Wilson, who turned 18 this week, was on the score sheet last night for United’s Under-21s in their 2-0 victory over Blackburn in what was his first start at that level. He scored a powerful free-kick that left the goalkeeper with absolutely no chance of stopping it.
He is the most in-form striker at any level of United so far this season as his goal against Blackburn left him on 12 goals in 13 starts at every level. So far this season, he has played with the Under-18s, Under-19s and Under-21s, and impressed throughout.
Wilson’s progress is no surprise to those who watched him with the Under-18s last year during a campaign that saw him score five goals in one match against Newcastle but few would have expected him to be quite as prolific as he is.
“I think I did very well with the goal and I worked hard,” Wilson said after the final whistle yesterday.
“I’ve been working hard in training and I’ve been waiting for the step up to the Under-21s.
“The more you step up the faster the game gets and the more you have to adapt your game to the match. It has been a great experience to go into Europe with the Under-19s and now to step up to the Under-21s.”
Wilson’s consistency has been the most outstanding element to his season so far as, whether he is playing as a lone striker or from a deeper position, his influence on a game is phenomenal.
He has only just turned 18 and United are spoilt for attackers even at the lower levels with the likes of Will Keane, Angelo Henriquez and James Wilson all likely to be hungry for a spot on the pre-season tour next year but if Wilson can continue this rich form for a whole season, Moyes will have no choice but to take Wilson and give him an opportunity.