Van Persie praises youngster Wilson for 'special' Manchester United debut

The 18-year-old scored the Red Devils’ first two goals on his first senior appearance in a 3-1 victory over Hull CIty at Old Trafford on Tuesday

Robin van Persie paid tribute to the “special” debut of James Wilson after the young striker inspired Manchester United to a 3-1 win over Hull City at Old Trafford on Tuesday evening.

Wilson, 18, scored both of United’s opening two goals on his first senior Red Devils appearance and, though Matty Fryatt pulled one back for the visitors, Van Persie made sure of the win late on.

An emotional evening at Old Trafford also saw fellow youngster Tom Lawrence make his debut and interim manager Ryan Giggs come on for what might be his last ever home appearance as a player for the club.

And Van Persie believes Wilson’s goalscoring heroics will ensure it remains an unforgettable evening for the youngster.

“James played really well,” the Dutchman told MUTV.

“I know how hard it is to make your [United] debut – I made mine when I was about 29! I know how special it can be. He made it very special for himself and for everyone tonight. To score two goals is really special.”

United captain Nemanja Vidic also bade a final farewell to the Old Trafford crowd, having agreed a summer move to Italian giants Inter, and Van Persie hailed the Serb’s unique qualities.

“Nemanja has been great,” he added. “He’s been playing here for eight-and-a-half years and the thing I always say about him is that he puts his head where people are scared to put their feet!

“That is Nemanja. He wants to dive for the cause, in a good way. He is very brave, a great player and he’s won everything at Manchester United. It was a special day for him too.”

Van Persie also had kind words for the impact made in the dugout by Giggs, who is set to be replaced by Louis van Gaal as United manager this summer.

“I witnessed two team meetings as I came in a bit late,” relayed the fit-again striker. “The one from the last game against Sunderland, and today’s game, were incredible. They were Sir Alex-esque.

“He’s been brilliant and I think he came on without even warming up tonight! Am I correct? He came on without a warm-up, put in some fantastic passes and almost scored. He’s a legend and I think he shows that every day.”

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