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[11] The ex-PE teacher of James Wilson thinks the lad could have been going to the World Cup if United had played him more

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  • [11] The ex-PE teacher of James Wilson thinks the lad could have been going to the World Cup if United had played him more

    Chris Swift

    "They should have had him in a few months ago. They needed goals and he scores them. He would have been in with a shout of the World Cup — if he’d been playing for Manchester United and scoring goals then there would have been a big chance"

    on what he was like as a lad

    "He had a reputation already, so we knew he was a special young player — we probably didn’t realise just how good he was,’ said Swift. ‘To give you an idea of how good he was, he played 13 games for us one season and scored 57 goals. I remember one game against Endon. He’d been away with United training and had only just got back. We were getting beat 2-0 with 10 minutes to go. I said to him, “Listen, I’m sorry, you’ve got to go on here”. He went on, scored four goals and we won 4-2.

    "But his attitude and the way he conducts himself is what always stood out for me. He was never big-time, and it would have been easy to be so. He was an A-grade student and always polite and popular around school. He has taken everything in his stride, nothing fazes him, on or off the pitch. He’s got a good family and good people around him"

    "I played for Stoke up to reserve-team level and I’ve seen a lot of very good players come through — but James is the best. You fear, by the time they’re 18, things might level out. But he has handled everything physically and that has allowed his ability to show. He did not look out of place on Wednesday. He can go as far as he wants. It’s up to him, he’s that good"
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