Harry Wilson can replace the Philippe Coutinho ‘factor’ at Anfield – the ability to score from anywhere.
Liverpool certainly scored some brilliant strikes last season. Daniel Sturridge’s last-minute equaliser at Stamford Bridge and Mohamed Salah’s strike against Chelsea standing out.
But they have lacked a player who can produce magic like that with any regularity. Most goals come from a well-worked move or a defence-splitting pass or cross.
Having someone who can swing it into the top corner from 25 yards is something a bit special. It doesn’t matter if you’re winning the tactical battle. It doesn’t matter if the opposition defender has your number.
It’s just going in, as unstoppable as Wilson’s hit against Lyon on Wednesday. Wilson, who is reportedly worth £25m to Liverpool, flung one into the top corner to wrap up a 3-1 win.
Coutinho did it with consistency. Defenders couldn’t afford to let him cut inside as if he lined one up on the edge of the box, there was a decent chance he’d find the net.
Wilson, while not on Coutinho’s level, can do that, too. Be it from a free-kick or open play, he’s able to leave the goalkeeper without a chance.
It’s a skill that would add plenty to Liverpool’s attack – really, one of the few things they’re missing. The temptation is to find an expensive attacker to step in as backup but Wilson adds something new – something that for all the Coutinho sale brought Liverpool, they have lacked since.