• Jack Price

HARRY WILSON: HAS HE GOT A FUTURE AT LIVERPOOL?


Every so often, there seems to a player that has been around for an eternity. A quick google search, however, will quickly put that notion to bed and you will be left agape at their actual age.


Harry Wilson is that player.


He debuted for his country back in 2013 and has represented six clubs in three separate divisions, so you can be forgiven for believing that he is much older than he really is.


But Wilson is only 24 years old and is yet to find a permanent home. He has been out on loan at Crewe, Hull, Derby, Bournemouth and Cardiff - where he is today - and in the Summer, he will be back on Merseyside for what could be the final time.


For Liverpool it has been a sorely underwhelming campaign; after winning the league last season, the Reds sit seventh and even crashed out of Europe in the Quarter finals, leaving many to believe that Jurgen Klopp will conduct a mass exodus this summer as he looks to raise funds and bolster his squad.


Wilson is one who is rumoured to be handed an ultimatum, though that has not scuppered his ambitions of making the grade at his boyhood club.


"Obviously it's always been my aim to get into the Liverpool team and play for the club I've been at since I was eight," Wilson told Wales Online.


"But you know the quality Liverpool have got, the famous front three (Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah). I feel I'm good enough to be in that squad. I'd like to think I could go in there and add something different.


"I've always been confident in my ability and, playing with the players in that team, I feel it would help me with my game. But that's out of my hands.


"That's up to the manager there to make those decisions but I'm fully focused on finishing the season with Cardiff and playing at the Euros with Wales," he added.


"I'm determined to have a good tournament there and, if it's not with Liverpool, I'm determined to get a move. I feel I deserve to play at the highest level I can."


When Wilson signed for the Bluebirds on a season long loan back in September, he incited a certain emanation of euphoria. That was easy to reason with, too. After all, he was already a cherished figure in the Welsh Capital owing to his performances on the International stage and had previously ignited the Championship during stints at Hull and Derby.


And just a few months prior, he had been playing top level football with Bournemouth. It all seemed written in the stars for Wilson, a Welshman himself, to steer Cardiff back to the big time.


Football is as unpredictable as anything though, and it did not quite turn out that way. Cardiff barely laid a glove on the top six, although they did embrace a brief honeymoon of sorts when Mick McCarthy took to the helm at the end of January.


In particular, Wilson's case is a very divisive one, with some being left awestruck by his showings and others left feeling a bit empty. With a return of 7 goals and 12 assists, it would be difficult to contest that he has performed well overall, yet, at times, he has frustrated, too.


There have been occasions - perhaps one too many - where he has tended to drift in and out of games, or worse still, go missing altogether, leading to a school of thought that the inconsistencies within his game will need to be ironed out if he is to succeed in the Premier League.


One thing that has never been a token of dispute of South Wales is Wilson's undeniable talent. Dubbed the Welsh Wizard for all the right reasons, the attacker beholds a real wand of a left foot and can hit them from anywhere.


As a matter of fact, since the start of the 2017/18 campaign, no player in the top two tiers of English football has scored from outside the box more times than Wilson, who has struck from far out 17 times.


Where he will be doing that next term is a real mystery and should he perform well with Wales at the upcoming European Championships, you do feel that he would be presented with a wide range of options. It is a great opportunity for players to put themselves in the shop window and Wilson will be desperate to do so.


But, what we do know is that one of those options will not be Cardiff, with Mick McCarthy putting that faint possibility to bed a while back. Quite frankly, the Bluebirds do not behold the financial prowess to make the move permanent and whether Wilson would even be willing to remain in the second tier is questionable.


Instead, McCarthy believes that he could finally attain his Anfield aspirations.


"Why could he not go back to Liverpool and play there?" said McCarthy following Wilson's three goal haul in Saturday's 4-0 win at Birmingham City.


"He is their player. I'm not going to pick and choose where he should go, but he is absolute quality.


"He is a great pro. Even the first game when he was left out and everybody was shocked, he responded brilliantly. That's what I love about him. His ability and sheer determination to play.


"He is Liverpool's player and I would love to see him go back and play there," he continued.


"But he has been to Hull, Bournemouth, Derby, here. I think he feels he got a raw deal from the Premier League from his time at Bournemouth, because they got relegated and almost like it reflects badly on him.


"It shouldn't do. I saw him play for them. I sincerely hope (the Premier League) is where he is next year because that's where he deserves to be."


To vision Wilson back at Liverpool is not an entirely unrealistic scenario, either. It has been well documented just how the reigning Premier League champions have suffered with injuries this term, which many believe to be a catalyst for their downfall.


Wilson would supplement their depth whilst adding an extra touch of quality and, given they could be competing in four separate competitions next season, constructing strength in numbers will be a paramount priority of Klopp's.


On the other hand, there are plenty of suitors elsewhere that are reported to be circling for his signature. Aston Villa, Sheffield United and former club Bournemouth have all been linked previously, however, there is potentially an option that stands above them all.


Leeds United have recently been cited as a possible avenue and it is a deal that both parties could hugely benefit from.


Indeed, Wilson possesses all the attributes that would make him a valuable component of Marcelo Bielsa's renowned system; he has pace to burn, an eye for a pass, versatility and the dynamic energy needed to thrive under the Argentine.


And whilst the West Yorkshire outfit have deservedly earned a variety of plaudits for their enthralling, high-octane displays upon their return to the top flight, there has been a certain area in the team that they will no doubt be looking to strengthen ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.


They have lacked an inventive presence in the middle of the park, with both Tyler Roberts and record signing Rodrigo failing to make an impact at Elland Road. This opens the door for Wilson, who would provide that much-needed creativity through the middle and can also operate out wide if needed.


In the past, Leeds' Director of Football Victor Orta has been said to be a keen admirer of the speedster, something which could prove influential as Wilson's future approaches a crucial climax.


At this stage, Wilson's next decision is most definitely worth monitoring. It could just turn out to be a decisive one.