The 18-year-old was handed his first start alongside fellow youngster Tom Lawrence and immediately caught the attention of Old Trafford by opening the scoring on 31 minutes, before doubling his tally in the second half with a real poacher's effort from close range.
Van Persie replaced Wilson just after the hour mark and went on to score the game’s decisive goal, sealing a comfortable 3-1 win for the Reds. While speaking to MUTV after the final whistle, the Dutchman was keen to salute his fellow striker’s remarkable debut.
“James played really well,” enthused van Persie. “I know how hard it is to make your 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.”
Tuesday’s match was also a memorable occasion for Nemanja Vidic, who made his final Old Trafford appearance before leaving the club for Inter Milan. Despite only playing with the Serbian for two seasons, van Persie knows exactly what type of character he is.
“Nemanja has been great,” Robin explained. “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