Manchester United striker James Wilson is keen to return to Old Trafford in the summer and break into the first-team ahead of next season as he gears up for his final game for loan club Brighton and Hove Albion in the Championship. The English forward has played a role in the south coast club's promotion push and is keen to help them achieve Premier League status before he leaves at the end of the campaign.
The Seagulls take on Middlesbrough in their final encounter with the winner looking at an automatic place in the Premier League alongside Burnley, who have already been promoted. Wilson kept their hopes alive with a last gasp goal to earn a 1-1 draw against Derby County in their previous game, and he is keen to continue his form as Brighton prepare for their most important game of the season.
The England U21 international was part of the first-team at United, but failed to break into the starting XI in the first-half of the campaign. Louis van Gaal reluctantly sanctioned his loan despite the Red Devils being short of options in the strikers department. He has since seen 18-year-old Marcus Rashford emerge from the youth ranks and make the No 9 role his own at Old Trafford, with even Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial unable to displace him.
"The whole point of this loan move is to gain valuable experience. I think I've done that - and then some. My full focus is on Brighton for the rest of the season. But I've got to go back and show what I can do for the next season," Wilson said, as quoted by the Mirror.
"And this will be valuable experience playing Boro – it will be like a playoff final. Other than my debut, this is the most pressure game I've been in. We're all looking forward to going up to Boro and hopefully getting a result."
"We're all in a group chat with the United players and we're all willing each other on to do certain things either individually or as a team. I wish them all the best for the FA Cup. It's the best of both worlds," he explained.
The 20-year-old striker, who has made 24 appearances scoring five goals, believes he has developed as much off the pitch as on it since his move to the south coast. He is now keen to wrap up his time at the Amex by securing promotion to the Premier League, which can be achieved with a win at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday (7 May).
"I'm more of an extrovert now. I was quite shy when I first came in. I think I've developed as a player and as a person as well. That was a big part of me moving away from Manchester."
"I've always been in and around Manchester since I was seven. I'm used to whatever goes on and moving up the age groups. This was something very different. I've enjoyed my time and hopefully we can do it for the fans and get promoted to the Premier League," he added.