Jack Hallows believes that on-loan Liverpool winger Harry Wilson could be set to save Jürgen Klopp millions in transfer fees.
Liverpool have been linked with a number of high profile attacking talents over the last six months or so, with reports suggesting interest in Nabil Fekir, Christian Pulisic and Timo Werner popping up every second week since the summer.
All three command eye-watering price tags, with Pulisic having just moved to Chelsea for over £50m, Fekir rumoured to have had a £60m value slapped on his back in the summer and Werner, being one of the brightest stars in the Bundesliga, also likely to require a similar fee.
For Liverpool though, there’s a slightly forgotten man who could save Jürgen Klopp millions of pounds in transfer fees.
That man is on loan winger, Harry Wilson.
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The 21-year old Welshman has been plying his trade for Derby County this season under Chelsea legend Frank Lampard, receiving guaranteed playing time and clearly making the most of it.
Wilson was a star for the Liverpool Under-23s last season, scoring so many goals that it became increasingly bewildering that he was never given an opportunity in or around the first-team and that form has now translated to the Championship.
Having been afforded 23 starts across the Cup competitions and the Championship by Lampard, Wilson has grabbed 11 goals and 3 assists for the ‘Rams’ and has nabbed their Goal of the Month award with incredible regularity.
He’s also ‘done it’ against Premier League opposition which is the most encouraging thing, scoring a worldie against Manchester United last year as well as putting in a goal and assist performance in against Southampton.
Wilson’s 9 goals and 1 assist in 21 appearances (19 starts) for Derby in the Championship now gives him 16 goals and 4 assists total in England’s second-tier competition, having plied his trade for Hull City during the second half of last season.
This means that since being afforded first-team minutes for English clubs, Wilson has registered a goal or assist once every 132 minutes. This is an absurd rate for someone who is just 21 and has only played 30 league fixtures, none of which being for the competition’s ‘premier team.’
While it’s Wilson’s eye for scoring incredible goals and set piece ability that have caught the eye for Derby – he’s scored eight of his goals from outside the box, including that famous free kick against Manchester United – he’s also far more creative than his assist total suggests.
The Welshman has averaged 1.6 key passes per 90 minutes for Derby in league football, this is better than any current Liverpool player aside from Mohamed Salah (2.1). He’s also fouled 2.3x per 90, suggesting that he’s already gaining a reputation amongst Championship defenders as being a real danger man for Lampard’s side.
Wilson has also been awarded for his good form at domestic level by consistently being afforded minutes for his national team, giving him the precious opportunity to learn from the Galáctico himself Gareth Bale and Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey.
What most impresses me about Wilson, is the fact that he’s played across the front line this season, also operating as a central midfielder on seven occasions to great effect.
According to WhoScored.com, Wilson has operated as a central midfielder, attacking midfielder, right and left forward this season, scoring goals in each position and suggesting a versatility that will be highly appreciated by Klopp.
We know that the German prefers to utilise players who can operate in a number of positions – hence his recent decision to loan out Nathaniel Clyne – and Wilson more than fits that bill.
Sure, it’s always nice to bring in mercurial signings and no-one would begrudge Klopp for signing a Fekir or a Werner but being an academy product, it would be wonderful to see Wilson succeed at Liverpool and if given the chance, it’s more than likely he would do just that.