Manchester United striker James Wilson will have another chance to prove his worth. Unfortunately for him, once again it will be away from Old Trafford.
The 22-year-old has joined Sheffield United on loan for the rest of the season, meaning he will once again have another spell at the Championship. Wilson has not played for United’s senior team for more than two years, and it seems his long-term future lies away from The Red Devils. He has not impressed current managers, and in fact it seems Jose Mourinho does not consider him on the first-team picture anymore.
Wilson’s last game for United was in a Carabao Cup tie against Middlesbrough when Louis van Gaal was the manager back in October 2015. He has been playing quite well with the Under-23 side, but needs to play with the first team to determine if he can be a part of the squad going forward.
This will be Wilson’s third loan spell in the Championship. He previously featured for Brighton and Derby County in the past. In fact, Wilson should have spent last season on loan at Derby, but a knee ligament injury forced him to return to Old Trafford.
Does Wilson have a future at Old Trafford?
Perhaps the best example of him not counting for Mourinho was the fact that he did not travel with the rest of the first team to Dubai. That alone would not have been a surprise. But if we analyse the current squad, we can see both Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are dealing with injuries. Perhaps Wilson would have been a good insurance policy in case both can’t recover any time soon.
But as the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another’s man treasure”. Sheffield are happy to land an experienced player like Wilson, and manager Chris Wilder reflected that in an interview. “James has a fantastic pedigree having come through the ranks at Manchester United and importantly has some good Championship experience.
“He says he is raring to go and is the fittest he has ever been, so couple that with his undoubted ability and desire to impress, than I’m sure he will improve the group.”
Wilson, who has scored four times in 20 appearances for United in his career, could make his debut against Sheffield Wednesday on Friday. And who knows? Perhaps a good showing will convince United to hang on to him. But with 18 months left on his current contract, time is quickly running out on him to remain with the club for the long-term future.