James Wilson
Ashley Fletcher wants to follow the footsteps of James Wilson (above)Getty

Manchester United Under-21 striker Ashley Fletcher hopes manager Louis van Gaal will give him a chance to prove his worth with the first team after scoring a hat trick in the 3-2 victory over Rochdale in the Lancashire Senior Cup on 9 September.

The 19-year-old has impressed since taking the position left by James Wilson in Warren Joyce's side and with the first-team striker linked with a loan move away from Old Trafford, Fletcher wants to offer his services as a solution to address the shortage of attackers in Van Gaal's squad.

The BBC reported on 10 September that United are ready to send Wilson on loan to a Championship side to continue his development, with both Bolton Wanderers and Derby County since admitting their interest in securing the striker. Having already parted ways with Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and Javier Hernandez during the summer transfer window, the potential departure of Wilson would leave Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial as the only forwards in Van Gaal's squad.

Fletcher looks ready to take advantage of the situation and wants to breakthrough to the first team like Wilson, Paddy McNair, Tyler Blackett and Andreas Pereira did during Van Gaal's first season in charge.

"I've watched him [Wilson] since we've been playing together, since Under-13s or Under-14s really, and seeing where he is at the moment, he's doing magnificently well. But now I'm hoping to follow in his footsteps in a way and replicate getting into that first team, hopefully getting my chance and who knows," Fletcher said to the club's official website.

"Just looking at Paddy McNair and players like that, Andreas Pereira for instance, got their chance last year and took it. Hopefully, if I can get that one chance, I can prove to the boss that I am ready."