Ryan Giggs lifted the doom and gloom of the David Moyes era away from Old Trafford last season with the 4-1 thumping of FA Cup finalists Hull the highlight of his four game stint in charge of the club.
Although that game will come to be known as Ryan Giggs’ final ever appearance in a Manchester United shirt, many fans will remember it for the day a new star was born. Giggs handed two debuts out that night. One to Welshman Tom Lawrence and the other to lethal front man James Wilson.
Wilson was in the headlines yet again this week when he scored all four goals in Manchester United’s 4-1 win over rivals Man City in the Manchester Seniors Cup, with some stunning finishes to match. Wilson’s movement, balance and ruthless finishing ability make him not only a massive threat to opposition defenders, but lethal at almost every level.
In his last 31 games (including U18, U19, U21 and first team), Wilson has scored 28 goals including his brace against Hull last season. The strikes are all different too. Headers, left foot, right foot, tap-ins, solo runs – the whole shabang.
At 18 years old, Wilson is still developing as a man never mind as a footballer. His football brain will only get sharper and he will only continue to grow as a man physically. He’s capped 3 times at U19 level internationally for England, scoring once.
He’s a true goalscoring machine and has proven it at all levels he’s played in. While at 18 players like Raheem Sterling, Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen were all settled in as first-teamers already, Wilson has only grazed the first team scene. But he’s made an impression on fans and management and he’s admitted he’s keen to catch Louis Van Gaal’s eye for the first team.
“I do hope so. I showed him what I can do tonight. Hopefully I can get the call-up to do it for the new gaffer as well.”
After his consistent performances in the last 18 months, as well as the disruption amongst the first-team, it is possible that we could see him in the first team soon. Javier Hernandez could be on his way out and many Manchester United fans have called for Wilson to take his place in the first team – some want it to happen whether Hernandez leaves or not!
When it’s all said and done, James Wilson is an 18 year old striker with a more than impressive goal record at every level. However, there’s something special about this kid. He might just make it at Manchester United.