Wilson aims to use time at Aberdeen to score star spot in shop window

Aberdeen’s James Wilson applauds the fans as he is substituted.
Aberdeen’s James Wilson applauds the fans as he is substituted.

On-loan Manchester United striker James Wilson insists he will use his spell at Aberdeen as the shop window.

And the 22-year-old aims to bang in the goals to help the Dons to success this season and land a top move.

Former England U21 international Wilson’s contract at Old Trafford expires next summer.

He played 20 times for Manchester United but last featured for the Premier League giants in October 2015.

Wilson is open to a new deal at the Premier League giants but is a realist and accepts his time at Jose Mourinho’s Reds is likely to end.

That is why Wilson, who has started the Dons’ last three games, aims to shine in his season-long loan deal at Pittodrie.

He said: “The big thing is getting in the shop window as I am in the last year of my contract.

“It was a good move to come to Aberdeen, get game time and as many goals as possible.

“Then I will see what comes in the future.”

It is more than four years since Wilson exploded into prominence with two goals in his Manchester United debut, a 3-1 defeat of Hull City in May 2014.

That start for the Old Trafford Youth Academy graduate came under interim youth coach Ryan Giggs.

New manager Louis van Gaal was similarly impressed and included Wilson in his first-team squad for the 2014-15 campaign.

In September 2015 he handed Wilson a four-year contract that will expire next year.

Wilson went on to make 20 appearances for Manchester United, scoring four times, and faced teams like Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool.

However, his momentum was derailed after damaging an anterior cruciate ligament while on loan at Derby County in October 2016 that ruled him out for the rest of the season.

He had a loan spell at Sheffield United in the Championship in the second half of last season.

His loan spell at the Dons, the third of his career, was initially hampered by a tight hamstring.

Having recovered, he made a scoring starting debut in the 1-0 defeat of Motherwell and has started the last two games against Hibs and Celtic.

Wilson is a realist and is preparing for the worst and his expected exit from one of the biggest clubs in world football.

Asked if he had resigned himself to leaving parent club Manchester United, Wilson said: “I am edging towards that way yes, because they obviously have a big squad now and with the quality of players that are there.

“Obviously I am not 100% against it and if they do offer me a new contract I would give it a go.

“But I am edging towards that way so I am just preparing for the worst and looking to see what the future brings.”

Wilson may have fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford but he remains on the radar with Manchester United demanding regular updates on his progress at Pittodrie.

He aims for those regular missives to include reports of goals in Scotland.

Wilson said: “I get calls from a few of the staff there to see how I am doing especially when I have been injured to see how I am physically and mentally. They have been great with that and are always keeping tabs.”

As to how many goals are reported back to Manchester United the hope within Pittodrie is that he can deliver at least double figures.

Ideally, a figure similar to that of Adam Rooney who was sold to English fifth tier Salford City in the summer for a six-figure sum.

Rooney was the only Don to hit 20 goals in three successive seasons since all-time leading goal-scorer Joe Harper in the late 1970s.

The potential is certainly there for Wilson to reach those heights with his Premier League experience.

Early signs are promising with a winning goal on his Pittodrie debut and strong performances against Hibs and Celtic.

Has Wilson set himself a goal target?

“Not so much a goal target, I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself,” he explained.

“I am just here to do my best every day and help the team to win and get points.

“It was frustrating to miss some games but now I just want to help the team get results.”