On May 6 2014, Manchester United’s interim manager Ryan Giggs gave the Old Trafford faithful a glimpse of the future, handing debuts to 18-year-old James Wilson and 20-year-old Tom Lawrence against Hull City.
It was the teenager who stole the headlines, scoring a brace on his first senior appearance, but Lawrence also showed signs that he could have a future at the club.
Alas that was not to be, because shortly after turning out for United he was sold to Leicester City, while Wilson’s presence at the club led to the sale of Danny Welbeck and the temporary departure of Javier Hernandez.
As quickly as that, two players who made their United debuts on the same day took strikingly different paths, and more was to come.
While Wilson has made seven appearances for Louis van Gaal’s side this campaign, Lawrence failed to feature for Leicester’s first-team, subsequently leaving on loan to Championship side Rotherham.
The Welshman still has plenty of time to prove he has what it takes in the top flight and his form for Leicester’s reserves suggests he has a bright future at the Foxes. But for now, just seven months on from the pair making their United debuts, the two youngsters are in very different places.
Wilson featured ahead of Radamel Falcao in United’s most recent match – a 2-1 victory against Stoke City – while a player two years his senior is looking to add to his solitary senior appearance, made on loan last week.