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James Wilson faces 'tough' challenge to earn Manchester United starts

Manchester United striker James Wilson admits he faces a tough challenge breaking into Louis van Gaal's starting XI given the presence of Wayne Rooney, Robin van Persie and Radamel Falcao, but is keen to learn from the trio.

Wilson, 18, scored twice on his debut for United against Hull on the final day of the 2013-14 season, and has been promoted to a first-team role following the departure of Danny Welbeck to Arsenal in the summer.

Van Gaal signed Colombia international Falcao on loan from Monaco to challenge Rooney and Van Persie for a starting role, but Wilson believes he can learn from his rivals to push for a regular role at Old Trafford.

"Going into training with them is obviously a great experience but on the other hand, it's a big competition if I'm going to be breaking through into the first team," he told the club's official website. "It's tough because they're all renowned for scoring goals at such a high level.

"It's great to play with the players. The intensity is at a higher level but you get plenty of rest in between so you can keep repeating the sessions over and over. It's good. You have to think a lot more quickly than normally but in the end you get to that level and the thinking just comes naturally.

"There's always someone coming at you or doing something so you always have to be aware of your surroundings, maybe a bit more than you have to in the reserves or the Under-18s. You certainly have to have your wits about you if you're going to train with them on a regular basis."

Wilson is tipped for a bright future at Old Trafford after starring on his debut against Hull last season.

Despite facing a battle to impress up against the experienced internationals, Wilson says the respective talents of the trio are providing a rich learning curve as he makes the step up from the reserves to figuring in Van Gaal's long-term plans.

"Wayne is the captain so he's very verbal and you can go to him for advice," he continued. "You can learn things from Robin and Radamel that you probably could also learn from Wayne but it's mostly within a game. So if you do something that isn't particularly correct in a game, they'll tell you what you could have done instead and next time you can learn from your mistakes.

"[Van Persie's] movement is definitely one [strength] and the way he can change direction quickly. He can go towards the ball and then run in behind quite sharply so he can get away from the defender. Then he's got the natural instinct to finish anyway.

"I would say that from crosses [that Falcao] is always in the right position. For his first goal for the club, against Everton, [Angel] Di Maria's had the shot and he's there straightaway, expecting the ball to come across to him.

"I also saw him playing for Atletico Madrid as well and some of the goals he scored there were fantastic."


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