James Wilson: Man Utd striker joins Aberdeen on season-long loan

James Wilson in action for Manchester United
James Wilson has come through the youth ranks with Manchester United

Manchester United's James Wilson can find "his home" at Aberdeen, according to manager Derek McInnes as the striker arrived on loan.

The Dons say the 22-year-old former England Under-21 international was "sought after by a number of other clubs" before his season-long deal.

Wilson hit the headlines when he scored twice on his United debut in a 3-1 win over Hull City as an 18-year-old.

"We believe that we are the right fit for James," said McInnes.

"It's important for him to feel really wanted and feel important in somebody's squad and that's exactly what he'll be for us. We were keen to bring in a striker of note, a striker with the abilities that James clearly possesses."

But he has since only made six starts - and 14 substitute appearances, scoring twice more - for the English Premier League club.

He has had three spells on loan to Championship clubs - Brighton and Hove Albion, Derby County and Sheffield United - and scored once in nine games for the Blades at the end of last season.

"He's had a difficult 18 months or so with injuries and not getting the regular football, which can happen - especially at a big club like Manchester United where you can easily find yourself on the fringes of things and left to float a wee bit," said McInnes.

"But now hopefully he's found a home for the season ahead and we'll be doing all we can to give him the best chance to be at his best each and every Saturday and we're looking forward to working with him."

Wilson, whose progress was hampered by a serious knee injury while on loan to Derby, is contracted to United until summer 2019 with an option to extend that by a further year.

McInnes has been looking to strengthen his striking options this summer and that search intensified after last season's top scorer, Adam Rooney, was sold to Salford City.

The Dons manager is also considering adding another centre-back after Scotland defender Scott McKenna was ruled out for six weeks through injury.

A tweet by Samuel Luckhurst about James Wilson
A tweet by the Manchester Evening News's Manchester United writer Samuel Luckhurst

Analysis

Former Manchester United player Michael Stewart

"It's a good platform for him. A good opportunity to get some game time. He's 22, he's had a bad injury - it's a good opportunity to resurrect his career.

"I couldn't disagree more that it's a graveyard - it's a fantastic opportunity for him to go to a team at the top of Scottish football and try and rebuild his career.

"Clearly he has lost his way for a number of reasons - injury, tough competition. To go to Aberdeen and feel like he's one of the main guys, start scoring, confidence will grow, and it's amazing what can happen once confidence seeps back into a player.

"His future might not be at Manchester United - but he can put himself back in the shop window at Aberdeen.

"It's hugely important Aberdeen get their striking options right this season. If James Wilson does the business, then Aberdeen are going to be in a very good position."

Top Stories