James Wilson growing in confidence under Van Gaal

by Sam Peoples

James Wilson currently wears no.49 after Louis van Gaal encouraged him to change from no.47 because he felt all strikers should have a no.9 in the squad.

The 19-year-old has made great strides already this year and was rewarded with a start against Liverpool. It may not have been his most impressive individual game but the mere fact Van Gaal started him ahead of Radamel Falcao and gave him 71 minutes in what is the biggest home Premier League game in the season speaks volumes for the belief he has in him.

All Wilson will remember from the Liverpool game is the overwhelming sense of pride and excitement he had at being part of England’s biggest fixture. Given that he was plying his trade in the U21s this time last year, it’s an amazing amount of progress in a short space of time.

A well timed photograph from Manchester United’s 3-0 win over Liverpool on Sunday could have given us a glimpse into the future – Wilson as United’s no.9.


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Wilson is a special talent. From back when he was scoring goals for fun with United’s U16s, he has looked a cut above the players around him and he already looks like he belongs to the first-team. He looks in his element and being able to deal with the pressure boiler situation of senior football at such a young age is a testament to his attitude and mentality.

The future is certainly bright for Wilson and it’s a case of when, not if, he becomes a regular starter at United.

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