In the wake of Harry Wilson touching the hearts and timelines of Liverpool fans worldwide following his stellar performance for Derby County against United at Old Trafford, we ask long-term Derby season ticket holder, James Randall, to give his thoughts on Wilson so far.
“Given his finish to last season with Hull, the glowing references from Klopp, and a new 5 year Liverpool deal before he came on loan to the Rams, it’s fair to say a lot was expected of Harry Wilson at the start of the season.
Indeed, he was just 1/6 with SkyBet to score 10+ league goals as Derby’s first game loomed. Considering only Matej Vydra reached double figures for league goals last season, that’s a fair old price to be heaped on young shoulders.
Come that first game away at Reading, in front of the Sky cameras, Wilson struggled to make any impact at all as Derby snuck a last second winner. The following week, Derby were played off Pride Park in a 4-1 mauling by Leeds, and Wilson was similarly ineffective.
A League Cup victory away to Oldham afforded Wilson his first assist, but also his first injury – one which would keep him out of action for several weeks. He eventually returned to the first team fold as a second half substitute at home to Blackburn, when a 0-0 stalemate proved again frustrating for a young man desperate to prove his worth to both Lampard and Klopp.
Come last Saturday, with high-flying Brentford in town, Wilson was given a place in the starting line up. Finally here seemed the player worthy of so much hype – pace, intelligence and no little skill.
The Rams were dominant and Wilson scored a fine breakaway goal and was closely denied on a couple of other occasions. Just one game, and he was still under the radar – certainly compared to Mason Mount, on loan from Chelsea.
However, all that has now changed since last night’s glorious penalty shoot out victory at Old Trafford. Wilson was lively throughout, but even his excellent performance was outshone by a wonderful free-kick reminiscent of Ronaldo. It swerved, it dipped, it flew, it left Romero helpless and it gave Wilson the chance to demonstrate to the Old Trafford faithful that Liverpool had indeed won it 5 times. He capped off the night with a superbly taken penalty to set the Rams on the way to victory in the shoot out, and the appetites of the Rams fans have been duly whetted. More please, Harry!”
It’s not the first time in recent years a young Reds player has thrived at Derby County. Jordon Ibe also had a successful loan spell in 14/15, hitting the net 5 times before being recalled in the winter transfer window (recall him hitting the bar soon after against Everton??). How does Ibe’s time at Derby compare to what you’ve seen of Wilson so far?
“Early days. Ibe was excellent, and his leaving derailed our season. However, I wouldn’t have that Ibe back now in place of Wilson – Wilson seems a good fit for this team and what Lampard is trying to do.”
“Not sure I’d have had Wilson then to replace that Ibe though if you know where I’m coming from?”
We’ll hear more from James Randall over the course of the season!