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Harry Wilson, the NxGn star intent on flourishing with or away from Liverpool

11:00 pm AEST 31/5/18
Harry Wilson
The 21-year-old signed a new deal with the Reds earlier this year but he could seek pastures new this summer

Establishing yourself as a first-team player is an extremely difficult task for any youngster at any club.

But for Liverpool’s Harry Wilson, a versatile attacker highly thought of by the powers that be at Anfield, the path to Jurgen Klopp’s starting line-up is currently blocked by Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, while Wales teammate Ben Woodburn is also ahead of him in the pecking order at Anfield.

His chances of game-time - or lack thereof - at Liverpool has inevitably forced Wilson to glance away from Merseyside. 

The youngster was initially reluctant to sign a new deal with his boyhood club due to the scarcity of first-team football on offer, but his concerns were sated in January when he joined Championship outfit Hull City on loan until the end of the season after penning fresh terms.

“I had a sit down with the manager at the beginning of January,” Wilson said. 

“I told him I felt I was ready for senior football, but with the first-team doing so well, with Salah and Mane scoring and assisting for fun, I knew it was going to be difficult for me to get in.

“I wanted to prove to a few people that I was able to do it in men’s football.”

The Wales international went on to flourish with the Tigers, scoring seven times and providing three assists in just 13 Championship matches. 

He also opened his account for Wales, curling in a lovely effort against China in March, but his productive spell on Humberside and with his country hasn’t significantly increased the possibility of him displacing Mane or Salah at Anfield.

It has elevated him in the thoughts of Wales boss Ryan Giggs, though, who was impressed by his compatriot's performances as the Euro 2016 semi-finalists held World Cup-bound Mexico to a 0-0 draw in Pasadena earlier this week.

Capable of playing anywhere across the forward line, Wilson’s pace, speed of thought and menacing left foot helps him to surge past defenders and find space in tight areas, while his ability from set-piece situations provides another dimension to his already sizeable attacking threat.

His playing style would suit a Jurgen Klopp team, but at 21 Wilson can no longer afford to wait and hope for a chance at Liverpool, who are planning to draft in further attacking talent this summer after selling Philippe Coutinho in January.

Klopp is hoping to loan him out for another season and a plethora of Championship sides are said to be interested, but the Reds boss may be inclined to send Wilson to a man that knows him well.

New Rangers boss Steven Gerrard coached him during his time as a youth coach at Anfield, and he may well try to convince Klopp and the Liverpool hierarchy that Wilson, along with a host of the Reds’ top young starlets, will be better off plying their trade in Scotland

But ultimately the decision rests with Wilson. The boyhood Red recently told of his desire to act as Salah and Mane’s back-up, but if Liverpool do add to their offensive options this summer, he may see fit to leave the club he joined aged eight for the good of his career. 

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