Manchester United have an extremely large squad and they have always found it difficult to find a spot for all the talented youngsters. Some of them have had to go out on loan just like James Wilson. The striker broke through the ranks under the regime of Louis van Gaal, but the presence of several forward options like Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney has seen him move out on loan to Derby County. His loan spell, though, has been cut short due to an injury which has forced him to return to Old Trafford to continue medical treatment. A statement from the Manchester United website read:
“Manchester United striker James Wilson has returned to the club for an assessment on a significant knee injury sustained while on loan at Derby County.”
It was clear that the intense competition would not allow Wilson any proper first-team opportunities at Old Trafford this season. However, the move to Derby has yet to benefit him fully. Wilson has made only three Championship starts and one substitute appearance without any goals or assists. He has failed to complete 90 minutes in any of the games, and Derby would be extremely disappointed with their player considering that he has helped the club a meagre return of one point from four games.
It seems a long time since Wilson made his debut for United. Ryan Giggs was the first to give him a run in the first team when he was the caretaker manager towards the end of the 2013-14 season. It was an impressive breakthrough for the youngster as he scored two goals in just one appearance. The arrival of Louis van Gaal was always expected to help young players and Wilson was probably one of the names to benefit immensely. He made 17 appearances in all competitions in Van Gaal’s first season at the club.
However, Wilson was unable to make much of an impression after scoring only two goals. It is not often that a young player gets his chance to prove himself at Manchester United. Rich with a lot of talented youngsters, only a handful go on to represent the first team. An even smaller percentage of players manage to establish themselves in a first-team. After struggling in his first full campaign with the club, it was not surprising to see Wilson loaned out last season. A spell with Brighton brought about a lot of positivity, as he featured in 27 games across all competitions. Even then, scoring goals was a problem for the player as he managed only five throughout the campaign.
The return to United may have effectively sealed his chances of any first-team football until the transfer window reopens in January. Even though the record with the Derby has been poor so far, Wilson would have reasons to believe that his fortunes would improve since Steve McClaren has returned to the club in place of Nigel Pearson.