Manchester United youngster James Wilson sent a defiant message to manager Louis van Gaal over his future with a goal and an assist as the Under-21s defeated Everton 3-1 at Leigh Sports Village. Wilson has been heavily linked with a loan move this season but the England youth international produced another display which he will hope makes his worthy of a first team recall.
The 19-year-old has been left out of all of United's nine fixtures this season and restricted to appearances for the club's reserve side, but he showed no shortage of motivation against a Toffees side led by former defender David Unsworth. Wilson laid on the first for James Weir following an exchange of passes before he swept home to double the hosts' lead.
Jesse Lingard netted the third in the second half and though Calum Dyson scored a late consolation, little could deflect the attention away from Wilson's display, which comes after he was set to join Championship side Derby County and Wolverhampton Wanderers on season-long loan deals. Van Gaal has seemingly U-turned on the idea but is still open to allowing the player to leave.
Van Gaal's first season at United represented Wilson's breakthrough campaign as he made 13 Premier League appearances, and after the departures of loanee Radamel Falcao, Javier Hernandez and Robin van Persie on permanent deals, his opportunities were set to improve. However, the signing of Anthony Martial has seen Wilson's career at Old Trafford stall, with the United manager taking the curious decision to omit the player from all of his matchday squads this term.
Despite playing 90 minutes against Everton's youngsters, Wilson will be hoping for his first senior involvement of the season in the Capital One Cup tie against Championship side Ipswich Town. Wilson, number three goalkeeper Sam Johnstone and Lingard – who started Van Gaal's first game against Swansea City last season – all played 90 minutes in the Under-21 fixture and their involvement in the League Cup tie has not yet been confirmed.