Manchester United have confirmed that James Wilson has signed an extension to his contract at the Old Trafford outfit until 2019 with an option to extend for a further one-year.
Wilson, 19, has been at Old Trafford since the age of seven and has so far made three league starts for the Mancunian Reds. He broke into the first team under Ryan Giggs when the former winger become interim manager following the dismissal of David Moyes four matches from the end of the 2013/14 season.
“James is one of the brightest young English prospects and we are delighted he has signed a new contract,” van Gaal said after the attacker had signed the new deal.
“He is a very talented forward player and has a keen eye for goal. His development is continuing in the right direction and it is clear to see that he has a fine future ahead of him.”
Wilson – who scored twice on his debut against Hull City in May 2014, also said: “I have been at United since I was seven years old and have thoroughly enjoyed my time here so far. Growing up at the club has been an incredible experience and I feel it stands me in good stead for continuing my development as a Manchester United player. I am delighted to have signed a new contract and look forward to playing a part in the team for many years to come.”
The young Englishman is yet to feature for the Red Devils this season after being widely touted for a Championship loan move – an idea Louis van Gaal had supported, as the Dutch boss wanted Wilson to gain enough game time to aid his development as a United player. However, van Gaal changed his mind, for now at least.
“He is the natural successor of Martial but I think he needs to play. But Manchester United’s interests is always higher than individual interests so I have doubts to let him go,” said the 64-year former Bayern Munich gaffer.
“Maybe we have to wait till December to know how it is with our club – if we are succeeding in the Champions League, the Capital One Cup – because maybe he shall receive minutes off me because I have to rotate.
“You have seen what I have done against Ipswich Town [making six changes]. It can be done also in the last matches, so I have talked with him and I think we wait until December.”