Manchester United’s Ashley Fletcher looking to follow in James Wilson’s footsteps

by Ben Topliss

Manchester United’s Ashley Fletcher is hoping to follow in the footsteps of James Wilson as he continues his development at the club.

Fletcher, 19, has been steadily working his way through Man United’s academy side and is now part of Warren Joyce’s U21s where he is exposed to a tougher level of competition.

Wilson has gone on to break through into the first-team and is now Louis van Gaal‘s fourth-choice striker following the departure of Danny Welbeck last summer. Fellow youngsters Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair have also been given a chance by the experienced Dutch manager this season.

Fletcher has impressed for the U21s recently and is hoping van Gaal will also give him a chance to make the step up.

Speaking about who he looks up to at United, Fletcher said: “I look up to James Wilson and obviously Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett too, and Danny Welbeck when he was here.

“They show it’s not a million miles away as they have come through the ranks and progressed. I see them as role models, to be honest, and hope I can get there too.

“It does tend to happen quickly. Look at Paddy – he was thrown in at the deep end in a way this season and handled it fantastically well.”

Van Gaal has regularly spoke about how he wants to help the youth players at United and has shown during his short time at the club that he is not afraid to take risks when it comes to playing them.

If Fletcher continues his progress then he will be given an opportunity by van Gaal and with Robin van Persie misfiring, Radamel Falcao faltering and Wayne Rooney seemingly a midfielder, Man Utd are hardly spoilt with their current attacking options.

Of course, that doesn’t mean Fletcher will get his chance this season but van Gaal will be assessing his options in the summer and there’s every possibility Fletcher could go on the pre-season tour.

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