Marcus Rashford is hogging the headlines but fellow Manchester United youngster James Wilson is plotting his own path back into Louis van Gaal’s first team.
The 20-year-old made 13 league appearances under Van Gaal last season but scored just one goal, before being loaned out to Brighton and Hove Albion in the Championship in 2015-16.
Wilson has impressed at the second-tier club, where his five goals in 24 appearances – 11 of which have been starts – have helped Brighton to third place in the Championship and in contention for direct promotion to the Premier League.
Wilson is hoping more goals and ascension to the Premier League will be enough to convince his parent club of his long-term suitability for the first-team.
“The whole point of this loan move is to gain valuable experience,” he said.
“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.”
Brighton take on second-place Middlesbrough in the final round of the season with a promotion spot up for grabs, and Wilson wants to start after coming off the bench to score a crucial last-minute equaliser in his last outing against Derby County.
“This will be valuable experience playing [Middlesbrough] – it will be like a play-off final. Other than my debut, this is the most pressure game I’ve been in,” he said.
“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.”
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