Harry Wilson has always been viewed as a bit of a wonderkid by English football fans. A ‘promising young talent’ with plenty to offer in terms of potential to both Liverpool and any team he has joined on a short-term basis in his career so far.
What Are the Next Steps for Harry Wilson?
Harry Wilson is No Longer the Liverpool Boy Wonder
Wilson is no longer that teenager wanted by many and tipped to shine for the Reds at Anfield. He’s 24-years old now and needs to make an important career choice this summer.
The player has been at Liverpool since his youth – and yet he’s only ever made two appearances for the Merseyside club and both of those came in the cup competitions and not the league. Instead, he’s spent the majority of his time shipped out on various loan deals. After impressing many with a solid record for the club’s reserve side as a 20-year old, he joined Hull City on loan in the Championship.
With ten goal contributions (and only 11 lots of 90 minutes under his belt) he left the side with a tremendous record. The club may have struggled near the bottom end of the second tier that season but Wilson left with his head held high after some solid showings.
Harry Wilson Impressed for Derby After Leaving Liverpool Again
Rather than breaking into the Reds’ squad after that superb campaign, he was again sent to the Championship on loan, this time with Derby County.
Yet again, the player shone and bagged 15 goals as the Rams nabbed themselves a play-off spot. Although they didn’t clinch promotion, it was believed Wilson wouldn’t be spending another season in the Championship like his loan side.
He didn’t, joining Bournemouth on yet another loan move. He bagged slightly less, with only seven goals, but the Cherries struggled as a whole and were relegated from the top flight. But surely Wilson had done enough to prove he could cut it at the top level, if not for Liverpool, then surely for another Premier League side?
Instead, he went out AGAIN, to Cardiff City. Another 18 goal contributions for the Bluebirds led to him taking his overall second tier record to 90 games and 46 goal contributions. That’s a respectable record of 0.59 goals or assists per 90 minutes.
Proven in the Championship
So what next for Wilson?
The 24-year old has clearly proven he can cut it in the second tier. Wilson is certainly Championship standard and capable of scoring and assisting regularly in that league. In fact, you could argue that when playing in the division, he is one of the best in the league.
Even at Bournemouth he did relatively well given the circumstances. But it seems as though Liverpool are determined not to lose Wilson but also not to play him either. Right now, the forward has little chance of breaking into the starting eleven. With the players at the Reds’ disposal, he’d be quite far down the pecking order.
Wilson Should Be Allowed to Leave for the Benefit of His Career
However, he is no longer a player that can be allowed to float around to various clubs on short spells. He’s entering some of the peak years of his career now, having already accumulated over 100 appearances so far on his different loans.
For the sake of his career, Wilson needs to consider cutting ties with his long-time club this summer.
He cannot continue to hop around from club to club. It would be more beneficial now that he has proven he is a high-end Championship player (and arguably a decent option at Premier League level) to consider his options. If a team wants to bring him to a club permanently, to allow him to flourish and thrive regularly rather than having to uproot every season, he should certainly consider it.
But here remains another stumbling block.
Liverpool Want a Heft Fee for the Forward
Liverpool continue to price him out of a move to a second tier side. With a fee of around £15-20 million wanted by the Reds, according to the Athletic, it’s simply not doable for most clubs in that league, especially this summer after the economic effects of the pandemic. That is why Wilson has been largely confined to loan spells rather than being allowed to leave and push on in his career on a permanent basis.
Wilson can no longer be seen as ‘the Liverpool wonderkid with potential to shine in the future.’ As he has proven at Cardiff, Bournemouth and Derby, his time is now. He needs to detach himself from that label and prove that he is a player for the here and now and establish himself as a regular elsewhere and get his name out there as one of the most impressive talents in the UK.
The skill is there and the goals and assists are, as everyone has seen over the course of the last few seasons. In fact, he regularly features for his national side of Wales despite not featuring for his parent club.
But who could sign him? Liverpool firstly need to be prepared to take less for the forward. Wilson will already generate a decent fee for the club despite costing them nothing and won’t get a game for the Anfield side, so it’s worth them cashing in.
If they do lower their fee, he’d be an astute signing for any top end Championship side that could wrangle the money together, be it Bournemouth again, Swansea (who have been linked), Fulham or any side battling for promotion. In fact, a team trying to kick on towards the top end of the Premier League would even benefit from having him in the side.
This summer, Wilson needs to thank Liverpool for letting him get the experience he needs to kick-on – and then say goodbye to them for pastures new, only this time, for good.
Embed from Getty Images