James Wilson believes his loan spell at Brighton will increase his chances of making an impact in the Manchester United first team next season.
Wilson has scored five goals for Brighton since he joined them on loan earlier this season, including an important winner in this week’s 1-1 draw with Derby County.
The result means that Brighton will secure promotion to the Premier League if they beat fellow high-fliers Middlesbrough on Saturday. Wilson claimed that he has developed as a player and a person since joining Brighton.
“The whole point of this loan move is to gain valuable experience. I think I’ve done that – and then some,” he said.
“My full focus is on Brighton for the rest of the season. But I’ve got to go back and show what I can do for the next season. And this will be valuable experience playing Boro – it will be like a play-off final. Other than my debut, this is the most pressure game I’ve been in.
“We’re all looking forward to going up to Boro and hopefully getting a result.
“I’m more of an extrovert now. I was quite shy when I first came in. I think I’ve developed as a player and as a person as well. That was a big part of me moving away from Manchester. I’ve always been in and around Manchester since I was seven. This was something very different.”
Wilson has had to watch on while the likes of Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Marcus Rashford and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson have made the step up at Man United this term and he will be hopeful of emulating their achievements when he returns to Old Trafford.
Several players – Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley and Jesse Lingard spring to mind – have spent time elsewhere in the past before making an impact back at United and there is no reason why Wilson can’t do the same. It would be fantastic to see his time at Brighton end on a high note by securing promotion to the top-flight.