James Wilson - The new kid on the block
On the night when the curtains closed on Nemanja Vidic’s career at Old Trafford, from the midst of nowhere up sprung Manchester United’s new hero – James Wilson. In his debut he shook Hull’s net twice, becoming the first player in club history to score goals for the U-18, U-19, U-21 and first team in the same season.
James Wilson was born on 1 December 1995 in Biddulph, a town in Staffordshire, south of Manchester. He was scouted by United at the tender age of seven. His devastating speed and poacher like instincts are his key assets and both his goals against Hull were a true reflection of his goal scoring ability. He is equally deadly outside the box, scoring lots of goals from long distance.
Due to his speedy nature and acceleration, he is also useful down the wings but prefers to play forward in the center, where his superior goal scoring talent gives nightmares to the opposition defense. Similar to Robin van Persie he has got a powerful left foot but his right foot isn’t that weak, so technically we can call him a two footed player. Apart from his physical and technical abilities he is also calm and composed in front of the goal; we can see this from the goals he has scored. He was also listed in United’s lineup that won 4-0 against Newcastle earlier this season, but remained on bench the whole time.
His main weakness is that he is injury prone. Wilson broke an ankle against Southampton a couple of years ago which threatened to derail his career but thankfully he made a full recovery. Even his 2013/14 season with the U-21 United team has been one with many injuries, with the latest coming in United’s U-21 match against Liverpool.
He signed his first professional contract with United on his 17th birthday towards the end of 2012, but had to deal with injury problems throughout the season. After recovering from the broken ankle, he scored a decisive goal in injury time against Charlton Athletic in the FA Youth Cup quarter finals, to give United the lead. He was also the top scorer (U-18) with a tally of 14 goals in just 13 matches. Five of those strikes came in one memorable win at Newcastle, four inside the first half. Only Deiniol Graham’s double hat-trick in an 8-2 thumping of Marine Reserves in early 1990 outscores Wilson feat of five goals throughout Sir Alex Ferguson’s entire tenure at Old Trafford.
Wilson then broke into United’s U-21 team and is having a remarkable 13/14 season, scoring 13 goals in just 15 matches .
He also scored a stunning second-half hat-trick in game against U-21 Wolves at Molineux. The joy of scoring on his debut is not new to him, he scored on his U-18 (Premier League) debut vs. Everton and also on his international debut (Oct. 2013) for the U-19 England side against Estonia, a game in which England thrashed Estonia 6-1.
Tom Lawrence alongside Wilson, another United’s academy product made his debut against Hull. But Wilson surely stole the headlines thus making the fans believe that it is a sign of better things to come.
When interviewed after the game he said:”I feel like I can deal with the physicality and pace of the game. I just need to try to get as many games as possible under my belt for the experience. If you’re getting on in the club, you have to be progressing so obviously scoring for every age group is a good sign. I’ve got where I am now but I have to kick on.”
James Wilson stats for 2013/14 season (courtesy TransferMarkt.com)
|U-21 Premier League Knockout stage||0||1||0|
|UEFA youth league||5||6||1|
|International friendlies U-19||1||3||1|
|Barclay’s Premier League||2||1||0|
|U-21 Premier League||7||9||0|