Manchester United U21 coach Warren Joyce has praised striker James Wilson ahead of the Barclays U21 Premier League fixture against Aston Villa at Old Trafford this evening. The 18-year-old striker has played a big part in Joyce’s side this season after making the leap from the U18 side because of his performances, of which earned him a place in the first team squad which travelled to Newcastle at the weekend, where he was an unused substitute.
It would seem that Wilson is going to follow in the footsteps of academy team-mate Adnan Januzaj in the near future with David Moyes adding him to the first team, even if it was because both Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie were out injured and Danny Welbeck was being rested ahead of the crunch UEFA Champions League fixture against Bayern Munich in Germany on Wednesday evening. Speaking to ManUtd.com, Warren Joyce said:
“James is still growing and his body is still developing. His fitness levels have improved greatly this season from last year but he is still a developing boy.
“He’s got a lot of potential and has that knack of scoring goals but he needs to keep working hard. I have got to say that he is a grounded kid but he must work harder now he’s had a little bit of success. He needs a run of games and to be scoring every game between now and the end of the season. That has got to be his aim.
“It’s been a little unfair on Andreas, playing him up front, but it’s not doing any harm in a short period. He is more of a midfield no.8 or no.10 than an out-and-out forward but it didn’t do Adnan Januzaj any harm last year and I think he has done well with the things we have asked him to do.”
James Wilson has scored five goals whilst playing for the U21’s this season and it was rumoured that Burnley were looking to add the 18-year-old to their attacking options with their push to secure automatic promotion to the Barclays Premier League next season, which they are close to completing, but with Danny Ings out due to injury and the squad being a bit thin on attacking players, that first team experience for Wilson could have been good for him, but I guess United wanted to keep him at the club, which means he could make his debut during the final matches of the season.
By Paul Bienkowski
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