Liverpool have a fine tradition of blooding youngsters into the first team throughout their history, with the likes of Phil Thompson, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher all forging their own success stories after coming up through the ranks at Anfield.
After a few years of limited success for the Reds’ youth stars, current manager Jurgen Klopp is carrying the torch for young talent, with Trent Alexander-Arnold the latest starlet to be unleashed on the path to greatness under his tutelage.
The 21-year-old hit the headlines following his stunning free-kick at Old Trafford which was the catalyst for yet another United collapse, but more importantly it made a statement to those on Merseyside that he has the capabilities to make an impact for Liverpool in the near future.
With the Reds eager to prevent his development from stalling, Wilson is currently on loan with the Championship outfit after proving too talented for Under-23 level football, and impressing for Hull City during a short stint in the second half of last season – with seven goals and four assists in 14 appearances.
It ensured Wilson was not short of suitors over the summer as he proved his credentials in senior football after first taking the Under-23 Premier League by storm after notching 22 goals in just one and a half seasons.
His rise had earned him a call up to Wales’ national squad in March and left many to believe he had the opportunity to stake his claim for a more prominent role at Anfield, as it became apparent the club required greater strength in depth beyond their prolific attacking trio of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Yet, Liverpool chose to forge on without Wilson this season despite a deal for Nabil Fekir collapsing, with only Xherdan Shaqiri added to the fold for much needed depth in attack.
However, with his upward trajectory yet to show signs of stopping and his performance at Old Trafford proving he can make an impact on the big stage, it is now time to incorporate Wilson within Liverpool’s short term plans.
The question is, where would he fit within Klopp’s current batch of players?
The answer is most likely as a replacement for Adam Lallana, or as aforementioned as backup for Liverpool’s wide players – a role he previously expressed a desire for.
“I’d like to make myself that backup player for them, or that replacement if they have a knock or whatever. It sounds like a big aim, but why not? I want to play for Liverpool in the Premier League on a regular basis, I will never deny that,” he said.
With Lallana, 30, no longer the conductor of Liverpool’s press having seen his body breakdown for well over a year, it would make sense for Wilson – who has plenty more upside – to take his position in the side.
Harry Wilson is what we wanted Adam Lallana to be. But with pace.
The 21-year-old can play as a member of the front three or in the midfield, and has pace, positional awareness and is comfortable running in-behind the opposition rather than simply receiving the ball to feet – traits which are not too dissimilar from what is expected of Mane and Salah.
He plays with a certain level of confidence, one which makes you stand up and notice – his incredible free kick acts as a perfect example – and in the hustle and bustle of the Premier League it would stand him in good stead.
Having a dynamic option, much like Shaqiri, which couples with building for the future would be a smart move for Liverpool, and one which would not represent a risky investment or require a sizeable transfer fee.
With a plethora of talent across their academy and on loan with various clubs across Europe, Liverpool boast a healthy list of youth players. But, Wilson has reached greater heights, and has the capacity for more.
His talent can be honed in by one of the world’s leading managers in Klopp and at a club which has a long history of forging successful careers.
It is why when his full season in the Championship comes to an end next year he should be given the opportunity to finally make his mark, as he will undoubtedly return as a more accomplished and experienced then 22-year-old.