April 5 2014 was exactly five years to the day since Federico Macheda burst onto the scene with a vital goal for Manchester United against Aston Villa.
That was as good as it got for the Italian – at least to date – but half a decade later David Moyes chose another teenage striker to sit on the bench against Newcastle United.
That player was James Wilson, who much like Macheda had been making waves in United’s under-21s, scoring a hat-trick in a recent game against Wolverhampton Wanderers and regularly featuring above his age-group.
Unlike Macheda, Wilson did not make it on to the pitch, instead watching as United defeated the Magpies 4-0.
But those in the know at Old Trafford believe Wilson has what it takes to forge a long-term career at the club, and one man who knows very him well – under-21 coach Warren Joyce – has now set him a target for what remains of this season.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Joyce said, “He’s got a lot of potential and has that knack of scoring goals but he needs to keep working hard. He needs a run of games and to be scoring every game between now and the end of the season.
“That has got to be his aim.”
With four under-21 matches remaining, Wilson will no doubt believe that is doable. But will he make it onto the pitch for a senior appearance in what remains of this campaign?
Having sat on the bench on Saturday, he will certainly be hoping so. But regardless of what happens between now and the final whistle of the season, you can be pretty certain you will be hearing a lot more from this particular United starlet in the future.