Loan Watch: James Wilson Joins Brighton & Hove Albion


James Wilson will spend the remainder of the 2015/16 campaign on loan at Championship outfit Brighton & Hove Albion.

The teenager, who will alter that label when he turns 20 on December 1, has made just two appearances for Manchester United this term.

Number one of these came off the bench in the 3-0 October defeat to Arsenal, with Louis van Gaal sending the youngster on when the game was already lost, to gain some valuable experience.

The second of these appearances came as a starter in the League Cup defeat to Middlesbrough last month, but he only managed 45 minutes before being withdrawn at the break through injury.

It is these injuries, accompanied by the form of summer signing Anthony Martial, which have seen Wilson’s chances in the first team limited, whilst the U21s have played just five fixtures so far this season.

The lad from Biddulph is highly regarded at Old Trafford, and he signed a new four-year contract back in September, with the option of a further year.

Wilson has made a total of 20 appearances for United, bagging four goals along the way, including a brace on his debut, in the final home game of the 2013/14 season, in a 3-1 victory over Hull City.

His other two strikes came last season, clinching the victory away at QPR late on to make it 2-0, before scoring the third in the 3-0 FA Cup fourth round replay win over Cambridge United at the Theatre of Dreams.

Having already mentioned Hull City, managed by former United defender Steve Bruce, they are currently the only side above Brighton in the Sky Bet Championship, by virtue of goal difference alone, but Chris Hughton’s Brighton side are currently unbeaten in the league at the time of writing.

This transfer business comes on the final day of the loan window for football league clubs, with United finally deciding to let the striker leave on a temporary basis, after receiving more than 20 offers for the in-demand player, highlighting his ability.

His pace, balance and agility mean that he is more than comfortable playing on either flank, but his future lays through the middle, where his finishing is up there with the best at his age, and his preferred foot being his left means that he would offer something different for any side.

Despite their unbeaten record to date, Brighton have only won one game more than they have drawn, showcasing the need for some extra goals to turn some of those draws into victories.

Wilson will indeed help their bid to keep the pace towards the top of the Championship, and with securing this loan deal until the end of the season, and with the games coming thick and fast in that division, opportunities and game time will be there for the taking it would seem.

However, it is up to ‘Willo’ to take those chances once they arrive, and return to United next season ready to stake a claim for a first team berth.

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