Sunderland’s relationship with Manchester United has opened plenty of doors in recent years. Countless players have swapped Old Trafford for the Stadium of Light, including John O’Shea, Kieran Richardson, Wes Brown and more recently Paddy McNair and Max Johnstone.
But this still did not help Sunderland sign James Wilson.
The highly-rated Manchester United striker was reportedly a target for the Black Cats in August, according to the Sunderland Echo. But Wilson, who has had previous loan spells at Brighton and Derby, joined Aberdeen instead and showed Sunderland what they are missing on Wednesday night.
The 22-year-old ended a run of four games without a goal in stunning fashion in Aberdeen’s 3-0 Scottish Premiership win against Hamilton in midweek, firing a thunderbolt into the top corner from 25 yards.
"He is capable of those moments, but we're showing patience," manager Derek McInnes told the BBC. “It shows you the level the boy can play at.”
The Dons fans were understandably impressed, too, after Wilson showed his star quality for perhaps the first time in an Aberdeen shirt.
YAAASSSSS what a hit from James Wilson!!!!! That’s gone in like a bullet from 25-yards! #orgasmic— ally begg ⭐️⭐️ (@ally_begg) October 31, 2018
Rooney didn't score these type goals.— BTEafc72 (@BeattieWillie) October 31, 2018
Some hits tonight. ⚽️⚽️⚽️
Superb.— Michael Grant (@MGrantScotland) November 1, 2018
Now that’s the James Wilson I wanna see— lewis paton (@lewispaton8) October 31, 2018
Connor McLennan on for James Wilson. Wilson was superb in the first half, but not been seen much in the second.— ByTheMinute Aberdeen (@ByTheMinAFC) October 31, 2018
74| ABE 3-0 HAM— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) October 31, 2018
James Wilson makes way for Connor McLennan. The Dons #9 scored a magnificent goal to give the team a 2-0 lead and receives a standing ovation.
Sunderland, meanwhile, appear to still be on the lookout for new strikers.
Owner Stewart Donald told BBC Radio Newcastle that a centre-forward could be on the agenda heading into the January transfer window, particularly with Charlie Wyke struggling with injuries and Josh Maja the only player who has scored more than five goals so far under Jack Ross.
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