Andy Cole on Manchester United academy prospect: Big future!

Manchester United Old Trafford

Legendary Manchester United goal-scorer has talked-up the potential of a current prospect

"[James] Wilson is definitely one for the future," said Andy Cole to the official website of Manchester United.

An established star at youth level, Wilson made headlines for himself earlier this year when, in May, he made his senior level debut for Manchester United and, in the space of 63 minutes, scored twice during a 3-1 victory over Hull City.

Cole has marveled at the youngster because of the 19-year-old's prolific ability to score. In his final game of the 2013-14 season he scored all four goals in the Under-21 4-1 triumph over Manchester City in the Manchester Senior Cup final.

"He scores goals and when you're doing that as a centre-forward at this football club, you always have half a chance," said Cole.

"He knows how to hit the back of the net. He finishes well and he's got a good left foot. He's very direct as well - he likes to pick it up and run at people. He'll have a big future."

With Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal's renowned fondness for nurturing precious talents, Wilson is earmarked as one of a number of academy prospects who may be afforded increased playing time this season - and was even regarded to be the only positive in the club's 4-0 loss to League One side MK Dons in the League Cup earlier this week when he came off the bench and generally made a nuisance of himself.

"It is a big step [up to United's senior side]," said Cole. "At some stage, he will be given another chance."

Cole, 42, even believes if chances prove hard to come by this season, then van Gaal must loan the player out.

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"If it's not in the first team, he will go out on loan somewhere. When you have talent like that, you have got to give them the opportunity in some shape or form.

"If he doesn't end up in the first team here soon, as we've got some good quality strikers, I do believe he'll go on loan and, when he goes on loan, he'll do very well."

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