Sunday 24 September 2017

Van Gaal's decision to send Wilson away continues to look foolish as youngster blossoms

If Louis van Gaal ends up departing Manchester United at the end of this season he may come to regret his decision to allow so many strikers leave last summer.

Robin van Persie, Javier Hernandez and James Wilson all left the club, and with United looking so short of firepower as they struggle to make the top four in the Premier League, it looks like a misguided decision from van Gaal.

While van Persie looks a shell of the player who tormented Premier League defences, Hernandez has been flying for Bayer Leverkusen, scoring 23 goals this season.

Wilson was the rawest talent of the three but showed promise under the Dutchman last year, often starting over van Persie. However, van Gaal alllowed Wilson to join Brighton for the season and while the 20-year-old striker hasn't been scoring every week, he is developing nicely.

He netted for the Seagulls in a 1-0 win over Reading last night, which put the club second in the table.

Brighton boss Chris Hughton, speaking to the Press Association, praised Wilson's performance while acknowledging that he still has a bit to learn.

"I wanted to play James," Hughton said.

"It was a question of who I played alongside him. Bobby Zamora was not available through injury and I thought maybe Sam would complement James a bit better. James has bit stop-start since joining us, but he has been involved and he's getting used to the level of what the Championship is. It was a good, fast attack that led to the goal and it was James' best all round 90 minutes for us."

United fans will be delighted to have a more mature Wilson at the club next season but the big question for van Gaal is whether he will be around to pick him, or whether his decision to get rid of so many attackers last summer will cost him dearly.

Press Association

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