James Wilson is not distracted by the prospect of returning to Manchester United and is focused on impressing for Championship leaders Brighton and Hove Albion. The 20-year-old is on a season-long loan at the Seagulls and opened his tab with a fine solo goal to inspire a comeback against Charlton Athletic, helping maintain the club's unbeaten run.
The England Under-21 international made his first start for Chris Hughton's side at the weekend and while parent club United were stumbling to a 10th goalless draw under Louis van Gaal, Wilson was showing them what they were missing with. Wilson strolled through the Addicks defence to spark a revival from two goals down, with Bobby Zamora and Tomer Hemed netting late on to secure a dramatic win.
Despite the fact United have struggled for goals this season, with the stalemate against West Ham United representing the fourth time they have failed to score in their last six home matches in all competitions, Wilson was allowed to join Brighton for the rest of the campaign in November after making just two appearances this term. Though United do have a recall clause in the agreement, Wilson is untroubled by the prospect of a return to Old Trafford.
"I don't know [if the goal against Charlton sends a message to United], I'm here to score goals," he told Sky Sports. "I'm here for Brighton. I'm here for the manager and for the fans, so my full focus is on Brighton at the moment. It's one of them, I'm here for the season, I think I can be recalled anyway, but if I'm not needed then I can show my worth at Brighton.
"The first goal is the hardest, I'm glad to be off the mark. It was an amazing feeling to score and to come back from 2-0 down. It was a great feeling. It's a different style, you can see that when you watch the games. It's a lot more frantic and end-to-end, which will probably play more into my hands. Hopefully I can get more goals and we can push for promotion."
The arrival of the United striker adds to a Brighton attack that already includes Sam Baldock, Zamora and Hemed, giving Hughton strength in depth in a key area of the field. The former Newcastle United and Norwich City boss is thrilled to have Wilson on board and is convinced he will be a success at The Amex.
"He's a good player, what he needs is regular football and I think that's the reason why Manchester United allowed him to come here," Hughton explained. "We certainly needed his goal [against Charlton]. I think he'll be a wonderful addition for us. The reason why he brought him in is because he's got quality, he's a proven goalscorer."