Ex-Manchester United coach tips James Wilson for big Old Trafford future

19-year-old James Wilson has what it takes to become a future star at Manchester United, says the striker's ex-coach Rene Meulensteen.

Former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen is tipping emerging striker James Wilson for a big future at the club.

Wilson, 19, came through the academy at Old Trafford to make his first-team debut under Ryan Giggs in last season’s penultimate fixture, netting a brace in a 3-1 win over Hull City to announce his arrival on the Premier League stage.

The England Under-20 international has since found himself on the fringes of the squad under new manager Louis van Gaal, but earned his first start of the Dutchman’s reign in Tuesday night’s home match against Stoke with captain Wayne Rooney out injured, partnering Robin van Persie up top in a 2-1 win.

While he failed to get on the scorehseet, his performance earned encouraging reviews and, having coached the promising front man for several seasons in Manchester, Meulensteen is confident that there is much more to come.

“I had him as a young kid in the academy so many years ago, and it’s fantastic that’s he come through,” he told Sky Sports.

“He’s training with the first-team every week and I think he’s earned his place.

“What he gives them is young fresh legs. He’s got pace and he’s very dangerous.

“He’s got a goal in him and I think, once he’s settled down even more, he’s going to be a very important player for Manchester United in the future.”

It remains to be seen whether Wilson will get another chance to impress when United travel to Southampton on Monday night but, even with the club’s star-studded attack, the youngster no doubt has the talent to succeed where other up-and-coming prospects have failed in the past.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch