As you’re probably well aware by now, we love Harry Wilson. We’re heavily invested in his career as a Liverpool player.
It’s fair to say he’s doing a pretty damn good job for Derby, just as he did for Hull in 17/18. Some Hull fans went on to term him “far too good” for them, with others claiming he kept them up. Derby fans, as Chris’ interview with season ticket holder James Randall alluded to, love him.
But what does this mean for Wilson & for Liverpool? It’s easy to look at two action heavy loan spells and suggest that we’ve used the loan system really well in his case. But have we really? Can we really say that now?
We think not. Here’s why:
James Maddison is 22 years old. Leicester signed him for £20m in the summer from Norwich, having posted these figures in the Championship (P48; 15G+8A – goal involvement every 0.48 games):
Harry Wilson is 21 years old. He’s posted these figures in the Championship (so far) for Hull & then Derby (P34; 16G + 4A – goal involvement every 0.59 games):
We really rate James Maddison & think he’ll go on to have a good career in the Premiership & likely get several England caps. We even went as far as to say that his technique in receiving the ball on the half turn & spinning into space is reminiscent of a young Eden Hazard (specifically the Hazard we watched play for Lille against us in 2010). We got, understandably, a few bites on Twitter for that one, but it goes to show how much we rate the boy. People tend to go overboard the second you liken a player to another. We meant that specific technical aspect of his game, but c’est la vie.
Anyway, to contextualise, Wilson’s really excelling in the Championship if comparing his output to Maddison’s by age & position (for the most part).
Maddison’s all round game is very good. His build-up play is arguably far better than Wilson’s is at this stage but with many seeming to be upset we didn’t try harder for Maddison it would seem ridiculous not to give Wilson a chance.
We’re really excited by Wilson & given that Lallana will surely leave, Milner being out of contract, Origi & Sturridge sure to go in the summer it’s a fantastic chance for him.
There have been many saying we should sell Wilson in the summer as there’ll be plenty of suitors, but what’s his value now, truly? We’d have to pay at least £20m to get a similar player to fill a gap in our squad that’ll almost certainly be there, as Maddison’s fee indicates.
We’ll be really gutted if we don’t see him get a chance. In our opinion it renders the loan system farcical if we don’t. Wilson has performed so well with the opportunities he’s been given.
There’s an important message to send to other young players the club may court in the future here also. If we’re displaying that they can go on loan, utterly excel yet still not get a chance it sends the wrong message in our opinion.
Sure, if he’s not up to it when he gets his chance then the club will have to deal with it, but I really think it’s important for more than just Wilson himself that he gets a shot at the first team.