Premier League - 'Natural goalscorer' Wilson gives United glimpse of the future

Teenage debutant James Wilson was hailed by Manchester United manager Ryan Giggs after his stunning two-goal debut.

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James Wilson Manchester United (Getty)


Wilson, the latest young talent to come off the United production line, showed razor sharp predatory instincts to score a goal in each half as Giggs's side completed a comfortable 3-1 victory over Hull City in their final home match of the season.

Wilson is highly regarded at United. The striker, scouted by the club when he was just seven, has impressed with the Under-21s this year and he scored on his Under-18 debut while still only 15.

"He is a natural goalscorer," said Giggs, who has played with his fair share of top strikers at United.

"But he has got more to his game than that. He can run at people, he has got pace and he is a clever player so I am delighted for him to score the two goals.

"He was fantastic"

Wilson was one of two youngsters making their first United appearances on the night, along with 20-year-old forward Tom Lawrence, and was the leading light in a three-pronged attack with 19-year-old Adnan Januzaj.

The performance of the three youngsters will give beleaguered United supporters hope that better times lie ahead after a nightmare season.

The club, who sacked David Moyes late last month after a disastrous 10-month spell in charge, can finish no higher than sixth and are in danger of missing out on European football for the first time since 1990.

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"I said when I took over I wanted to bring excitement back. Some of the forward play from the three young lads was brilliant," Giggs said.


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On a night when Nemanja Vidic and Giggs himself probably played their last competitive games at Old Trafford, it was a canny move by 'the caretaker' to inject the starting line-up with some new blood so fans could mix sentimentality with optimism for the future. Certainly we should not get carried by a couple of goals from Wilson (Federico Macheda anyone?) but it was nice to see two homegrown talents getting a chance to start a Premier League game with a massive club – seeing it actually happen brings home how rare an occurrence it is these day. Having said all that, while Wilson and Lawrence impressed, the real gem looks to be Januzaj. He has already shown the potential to be a world class talent in some games this season and was outstanding last night. When we look back on Manchester United's 'Class of '14' in the future, it is likely will be remembering the young Belgian as the head boy.


Louis Van Gaal, who we all expect to be named Manchester United manager any day now, will have been an interested observer last night. The Dutchman has always been good at bringing through young talent so the likes of Wilson, Lawrence and especially Januzaj can all expect to feature in his plans. It does however, soften the bargaining position of the more fringe United forwards such as Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez. Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie look pretty much untouchable, but Manchester City's current situation with UEFA shows that there is new pressure to balance the books to a degree, and with United set to go on a spending spree, Welbeck and Hernandez could be seen as ways to partially finance bolder moves in the transfer market.


James Ducker (The Times): Wilson was afforded a standing ovation when he made way for Robin van Persie in the 64th minute, and Januzaj had the fans out of their seats almost every time he got the ball. It was fitting that Wilson was replaced by Van Persie. There was a touch of the Dutchman about the way the England Under-19 striker swished a left-foot shot into the net after Marouane Fellaini had knocked down Januzaj’s free kick.

Shaun Custis (The Sun): If this was farewell to Old Trafford for Ryan Giggs, he has left a legacy. As the most decorated member of Manchester United’s legendary Class of ’92, he knows all about the importance of bringing youngsters through. Last night, he gave a debut to 18-year-old James Wilson — a product of their youth ranks — and was handsomely rewarded with two goals from the teenager.How ironic that Giggs used to go by the name Wilson when he first joined United as a kid.

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