Former Manchester United midfielder Clayton Blackmore has today stated that he believed that 18-year-old James Wilson is capable of doing what Adnan Januzaj did at the start of the season and break into the first team at the Old Trafford club. The 18-year-old became the front man of Warren Joyce’s U21 side this season after impressing and earning the leap from the U18 side after a series of good performances whilst playing in the UEFA Youth League in the first half of the season.
Today Wilson made the squad for the away trip to Newcastle United, in which United won 4-0 with two great gals by Juan Mata, a Javier Hernandez goal and a stunning back heel by Mata allowing Adnan Januzaj to score the fourth. With a first half injury to Ashley Young, it could have stopped Wilson from making his first appearance. Clayton Blackmore, who has worked closely with Wilson in the past spoke to MUTV about the strikers potential, he said:
“I think ‘Willo’ is top-level. I coached him with the U15’s and he was frightening. In every session, he scored top-drawer goals.
“For me, it is only a matter of time before he breaks into the first team. He is very direct when he gets on the ball and with what he does around about the box with his shooting. At 15, he was the best I have seen at finishing.
“I’ve watched a lot of games and it’s sometimes hard to get him in on goal because he is often playing up front on his own and is marked by two centre-backs. So it can be difficult for him to get on the ball but he’s good at running at people and getting shots off.
“He is so good with both feet that I don’t know if he is left or right-footed. Honestly, he is a special talent and hopefully, one day soon, he is going to get a chance in the first team.”
It was unfortunate that Wilson did not get some minutes on the pitch this weekend, but as with Januzaj, his chance will come. It will no doubt relieve Warren Joyce as he will now be able to play the striker on Monday when his U21 side face Aston Villa, which would have left him without his only striker, meaning Andreas Pereira would need to play up top once again. Many youth players have travelled with the first team this season, with Charni Ekangamene and Jesse Lingard among others, but only Wilson has actually been used as a substitute.
United now go into a UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg against Bayern Munich on Wednesday and with a big doubt surrounding Wayne Rooney, United may be left with Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez to lead the line, meaning Wilson may in fact travel to Germany with the side, but I do see him playing on Monday, which would effectively rule him out of Wednesday’s fixture anyway. He will get his chance and that really does excite me as he is a great talent to have in the squad.
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By Paul Bienkowski
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