Reputable journalist James Pearce claims that Liverpool could be more inclined to keep Harry Wilson at the club following reports that Xherdan Shaqiri is close to an Anfield exit.
Shaqiri, 28, was absent from Liverpool’s defeat with Arsenal on Thursday after reports from Goal revealed that the club had received interest from two unspecified clubs and the Reds didn’t want to risk the player’s fitness.
“Some were not involved. It is the time of the year when some things happen in the background and you have to react – that is what we did,” Jurgen Klopp told Sky Sports after the match.
Wilson, 23, was then forced to deputise in the Switzerland international’s place, making his first Liverpool appearance in over three-and-a-half years.
Plenty of eyes were on him, following the team announcement. Would he impress enough to stay? Or was this an opportunity yo put the player in the shop window ahead of the approaching deadline?
The Wales international enjoyed an under-the-radar performance against Arsenal. Despite missing the decisive penalty, Wilson did enjoy positive moments.
According to WhoScored, he managed to match the entire Arsenal team in terms of key passes. Wilson contributed as many as five.
For perspective, no one else on either side managed more than two. In fact, the entire Arsenal side – including substitutes – managed five as a total. So Wilson matched them single handily.
It wasn’t a complete performance from Wilson, however, as despite impressing from a creative sense, he didn’t manage a single shot, attempt any dribbles, or win any tackles for the team.
Klopp’s decision to include Wilson could have significant ramifications to the player’s Liverpool future as Shaqiri’s imminent departure coupled by Sheffield United’s £23.5 million purchase of Rhian Brewster suddenly opens a potential vacancy in the Reds’ attacking armoury.
Wilson was a direct beneficiary following Shaqiri’s withdrawal from the squad on Thursday night as he was handed his second senior appearance for Liverpool since his debut in the FA Cup against Plymouth Argyle back in January 2017.
The former AFC Bournemouth loanee was a surprise inclusion given he recently looked set to join Burnley following talks between the clubs over the past week. The Clarets even submitted an offer of £12 million-plus a potential £4 million in add-ons. However, this was rejected by Liverpool, who want an overall package of around £20 million, including at least £15 million guaranteed.
With that said, considering Burnley are yet to improve their initial bid, Klopp and sporting director, Michael Edwards had no issues with throwing Wilson in at the deep end and his involvement last night could be a sign of things to come.
According to The Athletic, if Shaqiri were to leave the club, then Liverpool would become more inclined to keep hold of Wilson as further attacking cover.
What RTK has to say
It’s an interesting dynamic and one that’s naturally exciting. It wasn’t too long ago that there was a glaring excitement amongst supporters at the prospect of Wilson liking back up with the Reds following impressive loan spells with Hull City, Derby County and Bournemouth.
We certainly trust Pearce. If he thinks it’s reasonable to expect that Wilson indeed could remain at Anfield beyond the October 5 deadline then we are happy to accept that it could very well happen.
It makes a lot of sense given Liverpool are on the cusp of selling two attacking players so the need for a ready-made replacement certainly point to Wilson at this moment in time.
If both deals go through, Edwards will have effectively raked in £81.5 million following the successful sales of Dejan Lovren, Ovie Ejaria, Ki-Jana Hoever, Brewster and Shaqiri.
To put that into perspective, it will all but cover the club’s expenditure following the purchases of Kostas Tsimikas, Thiago Alcantara and Diogo Jota which reduces any need for the club to sell Wilson.
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