Fresh off a 91st minute match-winner against Armenia, Wales U21 manager Geraint Williams singled out Liverpool prospect and current Crewe Alexandra loanee Harry Wilson for special praise, saying that the youngster has proven he can overcome his slight stature and take the next step in his development.
"I don't like to single out individuals as it's a team effort, but Harry is a young man with great talent," said Williams. "He won his Wales cap in Belgium in exceptional circumstances as 14 players pulled out, but he has done a lot of hard work with us and Liverpool in trying to make the transition from boys' football to men's football."
That surprise call up to the senior Welsh side when he was just 16 years old made Wilson the youngest ever player to earn a senior cap for his country, and it's a moment that has since had Welsh fans—and Liverpool fans, too—dreaming of another Gareth Bale. There's more work to do, though, if he's to come good on that kind of promise.
"Physically he's one of the smallest players on the pitch at this level and young enough to play in the next U21 competition," added Williams. "But he can nullify the physicality of other players by getting into spaces and running with the ball, and showed wonderful composure to take that chance and get us two extra points against Armenia."
One downside of being as highly hyped as Wilson was is that despite only being 18 years old, some fans have already gone from expecting him to become the next big thing to wondering why he hasn't become the next big thing to setting their eyes on the next next big thing and forgetting they'd ever expected that much of him.
Still, that early hype came for a reason, and that he's secured a key role at the U21 level despite being younger and smaller than his teammates and the vast majority of the opposition suggests he's heading in the right direction. And as high as that senior cap might have set expectations, it's important to remember he's still only 18 years old.
Wales are currently top of their qualification group for the 2017 U21 European Championships. They will take on Romania, the second place side, today, with Wilson expected to start again.