Louis van Gaal: Why I allowed Man United striker to leave

Louis van Gaal says James Wilson hasn't contributed much to Man United's season

Louis van Gaal has explained why he allowed Manchester United starlet James Wilson to join Brighton and Hove Albion on loan.

The Red Devils boss raised eyebrows after Wilson was given permission to join the Championship side on a temporary basis despite a lack of options up front for the 20-time English champions.

We believe in him so he has to develop himself elsewhere. If we need him, we can call him back

Louis van Gaal

Van Gaal has been reliant on summer signing Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney, whilst Memphis Depay and Marouane Fellaini have played in an advanced role.

The United boss, whose side are in second place in the Premier League table, felt Wilson needed first-team minutes, with the 19-year-old racking up just eight minutes of top-flight action this season.

“Until now he didn’t contribute so much,” Van Gaal told his pre-match media conference on Friday.

“He played a few minutes in the Premier League and a few in the Capital One Cup and was not always in the selection of the squad of 18 players. Players of his age need to play and I can imagine that fans are saying that this is ridiculous, they have difficulties to score, but that is a short-term thought.

“We have to think what is better for a player like Wilson and at the moment he does not have too many possibilities to play on a higher level. We believe in him so he has to develop himself elsewhere. If we need him, we can call him back.”

Wilson came on as a substitute in United’s 3-0 loss to Arsenal in the Premier League at The Emirates in October, whilst he featured in their defeat by Middlesbrough in the League Cup.

MORE: Read the latest Man United player tweets

The United teenager has scored four times in 20 games in all competitions for the Red Devils.

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