Manchester United forward James Wilson has given Louis van Gaal a timely reminder of his talents after scoring on debut for the England U21 side during their friendly against the United States. The young Englishman scored the winner, as the young Lions prepare for their upcoming European Championship qualifiers.
The 19-year-old forward broke into the Red Devils' first-team during Ryan Giggs' stint as the interim manager following David Moyes' sacking. And just like with the England U21's, the striker scored on his debut for United as well, but at time it was a brace against Hull City on 6 May 2014. The forward has since struggled under new manager Louis van Gaal, making only 13 substitute appearances last season, while this season has seen him being entirely omitted from the matchday squad for all six of the Premier League clubs' games.
Wilson, who was expected to play a prominent role following the departures of Robin van Persie, Radamel Falcao and Javier Hernandez, has now fallen further down the pecking order after the £36m ($54.8m) signing of 19-year-old forward Anthony Martial from AS Monaco on transfer deadline day. The United youth team product was linked with a loan move to Tottenham Hotspur, according to the Daily Mail, but Van Gaal decided to retain him in the squad rather than send him out on a temporary basis.
Meanwhile, England U21 manager Gareth Southgate was delighted to see the young forward score, and is confident that United is the right club for him to continue his football development. Despite not having regular game time at club level, the forward has shown that he is capable of scoring goals when the team needs him.
"He's a work in progress and still has some filling out to do and he has not had an enormous amount of football but he has shown he can score goals. It was a nice time for him to come into the game," Southgate said, as quoted by The Daily Telegraph.
"He is at club with a history of developing young players I am sure they will make the right decision with him. They are one for the best football clubs in the world for nurturing players and what happens is for him and his club to decide," the former Middlesbrough manager added.