After a good season on loan with Derby County, Harry Wilson will return to Liverpool this summer wondering what’s next.
The Welshman scored 18 goals and recorded four assists across all competitions for the Rams during the last campaign, helping Frank Lampard’s side reach the Championship play-off finals, while also shocking Manchester United in the Carabao Cup.
He returns to a Liverpool side celebrating their Champions League win and will be hoping to be part of any success they have next season.
But, according to reports, Liverpool are thinking about cashing in on Wilson’s fine loan spell with Derby, allowing the Welshman to leave for £21m in the summer with several clubs interested.
So, where should Wilson go next season? We’ve had a look at four possible destinations and how they could line up with Wilson in the team.
Although most signs do point to a move away from Liverpool, were Harry Wilson to have his way, the Welshman would choose to stay at Anfield.
The 22-year-old has been at Liverpool since he was eight, rising through the ranks of the academy featuring from U16s to U23s, signing his first professional contract in 2014.
He has since been on loan spells with Crewe Alexandra, Hull City and Derby County – really thriving in the latter two – but has always focused on playing for Liverpool.
Speaking towards the end of his loan spell with Hull in 2018, Wilson said: “I have been at Liverpool since the age of eight, so that’s always been my dream to play in the first team.
“So hopefully I can do that. If that’s not to come next season hopefully it will in the future.
“He (Jurgen Klopp) is a brilliant man manager, so I had a few conversations with him, let him know I wanted senior football and then he told me his view of it.
“Thankfully I was able to get out at the end of the window and I’m in a great team in Hull and hopefully we’ll stay up. Hopefully he was watching, I might get a message off him.”
His place in the first team wouldn’t come in the 2018/19 campaign, as he was sent back out on loan to Derby. But one year on, Wilson will still be holding out for his turn in the Liverpool first team.
Playing across the front line for Derby, scoring 15 goals in the Championship, Wilson would be a good addition to a Liverpool squad with plenty of games on the horizon.
Thanks to their Champions League win over Tottenham, and Manchester City winning both the Premier League and FA Cup, Liverpool are set to take part in seven different competitions, only two of which – Uefa Super Cup and Community Shield – are guaranteed to add just one game.
The busy fixture list could see Wilson get more game time than some would expect, potentially playing the central role in a 4-2-3-1 which Klopp had tried out over the past campaign.
If Liverpool do choose to cash in on the fine season Wilson has just had with Derby, the best – and possibly most realistic – option for both player and club could be a move to Bournemouth. The 22-year-old is reportedly a target for the south-coast club for a loan spell, but Liverpool could use this interest to get one of their own targets.
According to reports, Liverpool are considering using Wilson as part of their chase for Bournemouth winger Ryan Fraser, who has been linked with a move to one of the Premier League’s big six sides after an impressive season.
The Scot recorded 14 assists and scored seven goals in the Premier League, with only Salah (30) being directly involved in more goals among the Liverpool squad. Like Wilson, Fraser’s arrival could be part of a switch to 4-2-3-1 for Liverpool, potentially moving Salah into the centre.
But for Wilson, the move to Bournemouth would see the Welshman link up with compatriot David Brooks, forming a potentially fruitful relationship behind the two strikers. Not to mention, by replacing Fraser, Wilson would be pretty much guaranteed regular football, helping aide his develop at the top level, testing himself against some of the country’s best defenders.
With Brooks on one side and Wilson on the other, Eddie Howe’s positive style of football would be set for the future – while also bringing a boost for Ryan Giggs’ Wales side.
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Another move that has been touted for Wilson is to follow in Gareth Bale’s footsteps and switch England for Spain.
Looking to fare better than their group-stage exit in the Champions League last season, Valencia are reportedly one of two Spanish teams interested in bringing Wilson to the continent, alongside Getafe.
Despite their fourth-placed finish in La Liga and Copa del Rey triumph, last season was a fairly underwhelming one for Valencia in attack, with Los Che failing to score in just under a quarter of their games (15 in 61). In La Liga, Daniel Parejo was involved in more goals than any other Valencia player, scoring nine and recording seven assists, but this comes short of the 20 goals Wilson was involved in with Derby.
Wilson could provide a genuine threat to either Carlos Soler or Goncalo Guedes’ places on the Valencia wings, with neither truly impressing last season. Or, if Rodrigo’s links to Barcelona do prove accurate, Wilson could bring a slight switch of formation for Valencia, with three attacking midfielders playing behind one striker.
And even if he is not guaranteed a starting role from the off, a move to Valencia would see Wilson given a taste of Champions League football, with Los Che’s fourth-placed finish earning them an automatic place in the group stages for next season.
Squawka Suggests: RB Leipzig
If Spain is not to Wilson’s liking, a move to Germany is also a possibility.
The Bundesliga is growing as a potential destination for young British stars looking to get more game time, with German clubs understanding the need to give young players game time for them to reach their potential.
While Bayern Munich are perhaps a step too far right now, looking at the likes of Leroy Sane, and Borussia Dortmund already replete with young talent, RB Leipzig could be an interesting proposition for Wilson.
The Saxony club are about to embark on just their second Champions League campaign and will be hoping to fare better than they did in their first – dropping down to the Europa League after the group stages.
RB Leipzig are also set to undergo massive transformation this summer. Firstly, they will most likely lose star man Timo Werner, having to replace his goals. But also the arrival of Julian Nagelsmann, the exciting young coach who took Hoffenheim to the Champions League group stages for the first time in the club’s history.
It remains to be seen what Nagelsmann’s plans for Leipzig are, tactically, whether he brings the three-man central defence he preferred at Hoffenheim, or plays to the strengths of his new squad. But Wilson is more than capable of playing in a flexible system and could thrive under the progressive coach, helping Yussuf Poulsen to replace Werner’s goals.