22-year-old Manchester United striker James Wilson signed for Championship side Sheffield United on Wednesday afternoon as Chris Wilder looks to bolster his squad for a promotion push.
He is one of some players to join the Blades this week with Lee Evans and Ryan Leonard also arriving at Bramall Lane from Wolverhampton Wanderers and Southend United respectively. The Blades are expected to bring in a couple more fresh faces yet before their transfer business is complete.
We take a look at why it is time for Wilson to kick on in his career after a difficult start for the youngster.
Yet to live up to his pedigree at Old Trafford
The 22-year-old forward is still clearly rated by United and Jose Mourinho otherwise they would have been looking to offload him permanently rather than on another loan deal. However, Wilson will have to start showing signs of improvement soon if he has any hope of forcing his way into the United starting line-up anytime soon.
He has only made 15 appearances for the Red Devils since breaking through their youth academy in 2014 and has already had two loan spells at Brighton & Hove Albion and Derby County. His most successful spell came with the Seagulls as he found the back of the net five times in 25 appearances and helped them reach the Championship play-offs, only to lose out to Sheffield Wednesday over two legs in the semi-finals.
He was expected to push on when he arrived at Pride Park on loan in 2016, but a severe knee injury just a couple of months in meant he was forced to return to Old Trafford earlier than planned. Due to the severity of this injury, Wilson has had limited game time since but this move is the perfect opportunity for him to get his career back on track.
A good move for all parties
Wilson will be relishing the chance to try and help earn the Blades promotion to the Premier League under the management of Wilder with the club currently sat just one point off the play-off places having only been promoted from League One last season. The style of play that Wilder has implemented at Bramall Lane certainly suits Wilson’s overall play as they create a significant amount of chances which he will be hoping he can use to his advantage.
However, if Wilson believes he is guaranteed a place in the starting line-up every week, then he may have a shock on his hands. Wilder already has the likes of Leon Clarke, Billy Sharp and Clayton Donaldson at his disposal and all three have contributed with goals already this season. He will undoubtedly have fierce competition from Clarke in particular who has 15 goals to his name already and is currently the league’s top scorer.
This loan move does come across as ‘make or break’ for Wilson and it will certainly be interesting to see how he responds to this challenge in the coming weeks at Bramall Lane. He could make his debut in Friday night’s ‘Steel City’ derby against fierce rivals Sheffield Wednesday.