The curious case of Harry Wilson

Picture-of Harry-Wilson-in-Liverpool-shirt
Harry Wilson. Seems like he’s been at the club forever and to be fair, having joined the club at under nine level, he has been with LFC for a significant period of time. Other youngsters have too however but very few were as well known by the fan base throughout their academy career. Harry Wilson was so well thought of though, that his name has long been known by the fan base.

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Some kids you just know are going to make it and it’s been apparent for some time that Wilson would be one of them. He absolutely destroyed youth football and at just sixteen years old, became Liverpool and Wales youngest ever international when he was called up to the Welsh senior team and made his debut as a substitute against Belgium, usurping the previous record set by Gareth Bale.

Having clearly outgrown youth football, Wilson spent the second half of last season on loan at Hull, where he scored seven goals and provided four assists in thirteen matches. This season he joined up with Frank Lampard’s Derby County, where he picked right up where he left off last season. Wilson registered twenty two goals and five assists in all competitions this season and his fifteen goals in the Championship made him comfortably Derby’s top scorer and the only member of the squad to reach double figures for goals.

It’s not only the quantity of his goals however but the quality as well. He’s scored some screamers this season and his free kicks are nothing short of exceptional. Who could forget that blistering free kick he scored against United, followed up with a cheeky ‘five times’ gesture? So, Liverpool fan through and through, tore up youth football and effortlessly made the step up to the Championship, proving himself to be one of the league’s best players in his first full season of men’s football. It’s a no brainer then isn’t it? We bring back one of the country’s most talented youngsters and integrate him into the first team right? Well not if the noises coming out of the club are to be believed.

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Rumours Wilson is set to be sold just won’t go away and with multiple stories today claiming the reds have slapped a £25million price tag on his head, a potential exit seems quite likely at this moment. To me, this is nothing short of madness. Don’t get me wrong, £25 million for a kid who’s never played a Premier League game is quite tempting but shouldn’t we be looking to see if he could play for us first?

At the moment, we lack cover for the flanks, cover for Firmino and a recognised number ten. We also lack goals from outside the box and from direct free kicks. Erm... Harry Wilson anyone? Free kick specialist and known for scoring long range screamers, intelligent, technically excellent and positionally versatile, what’s not to like? The only thing he lacks is genuine pace but so did Coutinho and so does Firmino and I see no reason why with the proper coaching, Wilson couldn’t play the Firmino role for us.

Further more, I think selling Wilson without ever giving him a crack at the first team sends out a bad message to our academy players. Sure, you could point to the rise of TAA and we’ll see what happens with Brewster but Harry Wilson has not only done everything Liverpool have ever asked of him, he’s excelled at it.  If anyone deserves his chance, it’s this kid and if we sell him, I bet there will be plenty kids in the academy thinking ‘If he can’t get a chance with all he’s achieved, what chance have I got?’

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At a time when transfer fees are spiralling out of control, the onus on producing top players through your academy system, is greater than ever. I normally trust Klopp’s judgement on players but if we sell Wilson this summer, I think it will be the club’s biggest transfer blunder since Klopp has been at the club.

What do we think then? Harry Wilson - keep or sell?

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