James Wilson‘s loan spell at Derby County has likely been cut brutally short.
Having made just four league appearances for the Rams since being loaned to the Championship side from Manchester United this summer, the 21-year-old ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in training on Monday, and has since seen the damage confirmed by tests.
The club announced the injury on Friday, with manager Steve McClaren saying in a statement, “It’s incredibly disappointing news that James has suffered an injury like this. Only last week I was saying how much I was looking forward to working with him because he is an exciting young talent. I know that he will bounce back from this disappointment, especially as well as being a very good player he is also a strong and determined character.”
It’s possible that Wilson misses the entire rest of the season due to the injury, although a six-month layoff would see him able to possibly return by late April.
Of Wilson’s four league appearances for Derby, he started in three of them but failed to log more than 65 minutes in any game. He did not score across those four appearances, although he did net for the club’s academy side in an EFL trophy match with Doncaster in early October.
Wilson has made 20 appearances across all competitions for his parent club Manchester United, scoring a brace against Hull City in his Premier League debut in May of 2014. However, he has not appeared for the Red Devils in nearly two years, instead seeing time on loan at Brighton Hove & Albion for much of last season before moving to Derby before the season. Wilson’s loss is a big one for the Rams, who are struggling in 20th place in the Championship table after narrowly missing out on a chance at promotion each of the past three seasons.
Many have called for Wilson to get more of a run with the first team, as United has had a bit of a struggle to score goals this season. With Wilson being one of the only true striker options for Van Gaal, this move may come as a bit of a surprise.
Van Gaal himself admitted that some may not be happy with the move, but said it would be better for the player’s development to get more minutes at Brighton.
Players of his age need to play and I can imagine that fans are saying that this is ridiculous, they have difficulties to score, but that is a short-term thought.
We have to think what is better for a player like Wilson and at the moment he does not have too many possibilities to play on a higher level. We believe in him so he has to develop himself elsewhere. If we need him, we can call him back.
Wilson burst onto the scene at United during Ryan Giggs‘ short stint as interim manager, scoring twice in his Premier League debut against Hull City. However, he has featured almost exclusively for the reserves under LVG and will now spend the rest of the season away from Old Trafford.
Brighton currently sits tied at the top of the Championship table, the only remaining team without a loss in league play. Despite the Seagulls’ hot start to the campaign, they haven’t been the most potent attacking side, as their leading scorer Tomer Hemed has just five goals and hasn’t tallied since September.
There’s calling a player a “man in demand” and then there’s this.
James Wilson, 19, is said to have 20 teams seeking to sign him on loan.
The Daily Mail claim that the majority of the interested teams come from the Championship, English soccer’s second-tier, as the loan window for professional leagues outside of the Premier League opens today and remains open until Nov. 25.
Wilson jumped off the bench to score the winner against the U.S. U-23 side on his England U-21 debut last Thursday, and the predatory forward has scored four goals in 18 appearances for the Red Devils after coming through their youth academy.
However with United signing another 19-year-old, Anthony Martial, for $55 million on Deadline Day, opportunities for Wilson to get minutes this season may be limited, despite only having Wayne Rooney and Martial as the two recognized strikers. Louis Van Gaal already offloaded Adnan Januzaj and Javier Hernandez before the end of the transfer window, so it is a little strange that Wilson could be allowed to leave despite United having the rigors of the UEFA Champions League, PL, plus the two domestic cup competitions. Nick Powell is returning to fitness, but Wilson seems like a better long-term prospect at Old Trafford.
The report also claims that United will include an “instant return clause” in any loan deal so Wilson can return to his parent club at the drop of a hat.
Derby County is said to be keen on loaning in Wilson to boost their hopes of promotion to the Premier League, but a whole host of teams will battle it out for the talented young English striker.
Andi Herzog’s side are currently in England on a training camp and the first of their two friendlies, the second is against Qatar next Tuesday, was a good measuring stick for where they are at ahead of the all-important CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament for Rio 2016 next month.
Here are three things we learned from the young U.S. side at Preston in front of a crowd of 10,187.
“HEY, IS THIS THE SENIOR TEAM…?”
For plenty of moments during this game, you could’ve been forgiven for thinking you were watching the U.S. national team in action, not the U-23 side. Perhaps it was understandable against a very good England side — nine of England’s 11 starters either started or were involved in Premier League action last weekend — but the U.S. kept dropping back and inviting pressure from wide areas, especially the longer the first half wore on. Time and time again we’ve seen the senior team sit back and soak up pressure under Jurgen Klinsmann before hitting teams on the break (see: USA 4-3 Netherlands and to a lesser extend USA 2-1 Germany this summer) and this performance was almost a mirror image of that. The young Yanks are aspiring to fill the boots of those in the full national team and on this showing, they are a spitting image. Emerson Hyndman and Will Trapp used the ball well in the first half, but the U.S. had too many turnovers in the middle as the game wore on and a plethora of second half subs changed the tempo of the game. The U.S. finally succumbed to England late on as James Wilson grabbed the winner when the defense switched off from a quick free kick in the 70th minute and the Three Lions could have easily doubled their lead on numerous occasions. In the end it remained 1-0 but against a strong England side, Herzog’s team look more than capable of handling Canada, Cuba and Panama when the Olympic qualifying tournament comes around in October.
CROPPER vs. STEFFEN
Head coach Andi Herzog gave both of his goalkeepers 45 minutes, with Cody Cropper starting the game and Zack Steffen replacing him at half time. After being released by Premier League club Southampton this summer, 22-year-old goalkeeper Cropper was at a crossroads in his young career. After a move to MK Dons of England’s second-tier and a solid outing at Deepdale, he looks like he’s navigating it just fine. On Thursday Cropper proved why he is currently at the top of the list from the USA’s European contingent of young goalkeepers. In the 25th minute he stood tall and pushed away Cauly Woodrow’s powerful blast at the back post.
Cropper was marshaling his backline loudly, and was a leader as he is obviously reaping the benefits from spending time in several senior squads with Brad Guzan and Tim Howard. As for Steffen, his impressive form at the U-20 World Cup saw the Freiburg youngster elevated to the U-23 side and although he conceded a goal in the second half he didn’t put a foot wrong during his 45 minutes on the pitch with solid distribution and made three decent stops. In the years to come it will be one heck of a battle between Cropper, Steffen and William Yarbrough for the starting spot for the full national team.
RODRIGUEZ, HERNANDEZ LIVELY
Without much service, the forward duo of Mario Rodriguez and Alonso Hernandez caused England’s defense plenty of problems for the first 60 minutes. With Rodriguez leading the line and Hernandez buzzing around just behind him, England’s center backs Eric Dier and Calum Chambers didn’t know whether to step up or cover and in the 40th minute came a perfect example of the nuisance the pacey duo can cause. First Monchengladbach prospect Rodriguez nipped in and intercepted a loose ball out of the back on the edge of England’s box from a goal kick, then a run from Juarez’s Hernandez allowed Jerome Kiesewetter to ghost in-behind Joe Gomez and almost stole the ball off of the foot of England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. With Rubio Rubin and Maki Tall in reserve, Herzog has options ahead of the game vs. Qatar next Tuesday but Rodriguez and Gonzalez are a good partnership up top.
With 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship now less than a month away, the US under-23 national team kicked off one final set of friendlies ahead of their 2016 Olympics qualifying campaign with a 1-0 defeat at the hands of the England U-21 national team on Thursday.
The Americans’ first quality chance came in the 20th minute, when Mario Rodriguez won the ball 35 yards out from England’s goal, worked himself a bit of space ahead of the England backline and hit a low, bouncing shot that Jordan Pickford pushed around his left-hand post at full stretch.
In the 26th minute, Cody Cropper made a big save to keep the score level at 0-0. Fulham striker Cauley Woodrow, who was actually in an offside position, was fed into acres of space inside the Americans’ penalty area, where he would unleash a well-hit shot from eight yards out. Cropper, now a Milton Keynes Dons player, stood tall and blocked the shot with his chest.Minutes later, Woodrow went inches wide when he redirected a cross from the left wing that was tipped just wide by American defender Shane O’Neill.
James Wilson provided England’s breakthrough at long last, when the Three Lions took a quick free kick inside the Yanks’ half of the field, which resulted in a slow-rolling through ball that narrowly eluded two American defenders and goalkeeper Zack Steffen and fell to the Manchester United striker right on the doorstep with an empty net.
The US U-23 squad will now face Qatar on Tuesday, Sept. 8, at Gigg Lane in Bury, England, in what will be their final tune-up before Olympic qualifying begins on Oct. 1. The Americans were drawn into Group A alongside Canada, Cuba and Panama.