James Wilson was deemed “too good” for Manchester United’s Under-21 team following their recent 3-1 victory over Everton.
Manchester Evening News football writer Samuel Luckhurst wrote on Twitter: “Playing at this level is a waste of time for Wilson. He was too good for U21s football before he even played it. Class goal. #mufc”
Wilson’s electric pace and ability saw him grab an assist and a goal for United’s classy U-21 side. He set up United’s first after playing a delightful one-two with James Weir who fired the ball past the goalkeeper. Josh Harrop then won the ball in midfield and slotted the ball into Wilson, who’s frightening pace saw him pass the Everton defence and slot the ball into the net.
United boss Louis Van Gaal was sent a message by Wilson, who has recently been heavily linked with a loan-deal to West Brom or Derby County. However, it seems that Van Gaal isn’t worrying over Wilson as £36 million signing Anthony Martial has scored three goals in two league appearances.
Van Gaal has failed to select Wilson for any of United’s first-team fixtures this season, which is remarkable considering their obvious lack of attacking depth. Last season, Wilson made 13 league appearances for United, in a team where Van Gaal could select Wayne Rooney, Radamel Falcao or Robin Van Persie.
Wilson’s goal record for the senior team looks very poor, although he has rarely been given a starting position in the team. Wilson has scored four goals in 18 appearances for United, with the majority of his outstanding performances coming at Under-21 level.
He scored five goals in one game against Newcastle United on 22 September, 2012 for United’s Under-18 team, to tie the second-most goals scored by a United player at any level under the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson. He finished the season with 14 goals in 18 appearances in the same year where Ferguson gave him his first professional contract.
In August 2014, Wilson scored all four goals against Manchester City in their 4-1 victory in the Manchester Senior Cup Final for the Under-21 side. Clearly, Wilson’s astounding goal record at every level of United has rendered him too good for the Under-21’s which leaves it clear that it is time for him to leave United and go on-loan.
Wilson shouldn’t be disheartened if Van Gaal offloads him to a lower tier in the form of the Championship. Players such as Patrick Bamford, Benik Afobe and Jack Wilshere have all benefited from gathering experience in a lower league after leaving a top-four club.
It is a matter of time before Wilson leaves United to become one of the greatest players in the Championship. It is also certain that he has the talent and goal scoring lethality to help propel whichever team he joins towards the Premier League.