Not much was known about James Wilson when the Manchester United forward’s name was read in the Starting XI for Tuesday’s home finale against Hull City.
A heck of a lot more is known now after Wilson, 18, notched a brace in his Red Devils debut, a 3-1 win.
The performance had Manchester soccer luminaries Ryan Giggs and Robin van Persie singing the praises of their teenage striker, and had the youngster in a state of pure bliss.
“The first goal was just sheer euphoria and then the second was just a great experience. The ground is a lot different without 75,000 people, but just to play here even in front of a small crowd for the Under-21s is still a great experience to play on such a ground. With all the fans here tonight it was even better.”
Think it made him happy? His dad was pretty proud, too, and may have been pretty vocal in celebration (at least according to this expletive-deleted Tweet from a United fan):
As for Giggs and RVP, here are their thoughts (from the Premier League’s web site):
“James played really well,” said van Persie. “I know how hard it is to make your debut [for United]; I made mine when I was about 29! I know how special it can be. He made it very special for himself and for everyone tonight. To score two goals is really special.”
“It’s always been the way at United, to give young players a chance,” said Giggs afterwards. “He [Wilson] is a good player, he is exciting. He has trained with us the last couple of days and not looked out of place, and so has Tom [Lawrence]. It’s great to have kids who have been at the club for so long. I think they have all been at the club since they were eight.”
There will plenty of overzealous supporters putting him on the plane to Brazil, which can derisively be referred to as another big part of the Manchester United way. But there’s no question Tuesday’s performance was a special one to witness, and one of the main reasons we watch.