Manchester United striker joins Brighton on loan

Brighton & Hove Albion have completed the loan signing of Manchester United and England under-21 striker James Wilson until the end of the season.

Albion boss Chris Hughton Picture: Paul Hazlewood
Albion boss Chris Hughton Picture: Paul Hazlewood

The 19-year-old, who turns 20 on December 1, will train with his new teammates for the first time tomorrow morning, and will be available for the weekend visit of Birmingham City to the Amex.

Albion manager Chris Hughton said: “We have been keen to add a striker, and James has been our number one target for some time so we are absolutely delighted to have completed the deal.

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“James is an exciting young striker, and we hope that this move will prove very good for all parties involved.

“He is very highly thought of at Old Trafford and he has been in and around the first-team picture at Manchester United since Ryan Giggs gave him his debut the season before last.

“There was a huge amount of competition from rival clubs to sign James on loan and it has been another great team effort to secure his signature.

“I now hope he will help us maintain our excellent start to the season, and bring additional goals to the squad.”

Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal is full of admiration for the youngster after describing him as one of the “brightest young English prospects”.

Wilson has been with Manchester United since the age of seven and has represented England at every level from under 16 to under 21.

He made rapid progress in recent years, after beginning the 2013/14 campaign by captaining the club’s under-18 team and ending it on the fringes of the first-team.

Wilson scored twice on his first-team debut for United against Hull in May 2014 and netted a further two goals in 17 appearances last term.

He found the net in the matches against QPR and in a 3-0 win over Cambridge United in the FA Cup. The 19-year-old also scored on his England under-21 debut in a 1-0 win over a USA under-23 side in September.

He was on the bench for United in their Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven last night, and played against Arsenal in the Premier League and Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup earlier this season.

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