We have seen it far too many times for our liking. A youngster has a couple good games in the first team and the hype explodes. But the performances soon tale off and the youngster departs into a relative football abyss.
But there does appear to be something more substantial and something special about Manchester United’s young striker James Wilson. He got a couple of starts a month ago but didn’t make an impact. With so many top forwards at Manchester United, some felt that this would be the last we would see of him for a time.
But he has remained in the squad and completely changed the game when he came on at the weekend. Yes, he was up against a fairly sluggish QPR defence. But he arrested Manchester United’s slump in the last half hour of the game, adding speed and penetration to the front line. He made chances and scored a goal for himself in a beautiful cameo.
One of Wilson’s most important qualities is his pace. Even if he is having a bad game he can rely on the ground speed to cause problems for the opposition. Manchester United don’t have a huge amount of it at the moment so he can be an important player in the run in.
And Wilson is also a natural finisher. His goal for Manchester United against QPR wasn’t the sweetest strike – he scored a better one on his debut for the club at the back end of last season – but he knows where the goal is and will score regularly.
He still has a lot to learn. But he’s hungry, talented and has the confidence to deal with the huge weight of expectation. This kid looks as if he is desperate to get on the pitch.
All in all, Wilson looks like a safe bet to gain a regular place in the United team in future years – an exciting development indeed.