Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal made it very clear that James Wilson was going to get chances this season when Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez were sold and sent on loan respectively.
Radamel Falcao may have arrived but United’s teenage striker was still promoted to fourth choice and he has been rewarded with five league appearances to date.
Wilson has been excelling for United’s younger sides for quite some time and regularly played above his age-group, but it was during his senior debut back in May that the wider footballing world really took notice.
Two goals in a Premier League victory against Hull City proved just how deadly the teenager could be, but he has yet to score this season, having been used sparingly by van Gaal.
Wilson’s five league appearances this season have all come as a substitute, his latest a 15-minute cameo in the 2-1 victory against Arsenal.
The 18-year-old has played 87 more minutes of Premier League football (along with 34 minutes in the humiliating League Cup defeat to MK Dons) but how has he done in the top flight since that outstanding game during Ryan Giggs’ temporary spell in charge?
It is no surprise Wilson has not scored as he has not had the chance to play his way into any of the matches he has featured in this season.
His longest appearance in the league has been 23 minutes against Chelsea, and that is the one match he has managed a shot in. It was also the game where he achieved a 100 per cent pass accuracy and only lost possession on one occasion.
When he has been thrown in for the final few minutes, he has struggled, with no shots against Arsenal, Crystal Palace, Manchester City or Everton.
The defeat to City was also his worst individual showing so far, as he lost possession on five occasions despite only touching the ball seven times. He also saw his passing accuracy drop to just 50 per cent.
Of course he is a young player learning the game and often coming on to play out time, but against Chelsea and City United were chasing the game, and with experience he will learn to impact matches whether he plays one minute or 90.
The future is very bright for Wilson, but for now he is not the answer when United are searching for a goal. That man is Falcao and van Gaal can only hope the Colombian is back sooner rather than later.
|Match||Goals||Goal Assists||Key Passes||Shots||Shots on target||Pass Accuracy||Touches||Possession Lost||Mins Played|
|James Wilson||Arsenal vs Man Utd||0||0||0||0||0||80%||18||4||15|
|James Wilson||Man Utd vs C. Palace||0||0||0||0||0||71%||10||4||19|
|James Wilson||Man City vs Man Utd||0||0||0||0||0||50%||7||5||8|
|James Wilson||Man Utd vs Chelsea||0||0||0||1||0||100%||5||1||23|
|James Wilson||Man Utd vs Everton||0||0||0||0||0||67%||9||2||17|