clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Harry Wilson Heating Up at Derby

The on-loan winger has rediscovered his shooting boots in recent weeks.

Manchester United v Derby County - Carabao Cup Third Round Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

It’s rarely attainable to know in advance how a loan deal is going to work out in football, and Liverpool fans are finding that out this season, as two loan players are having wildly dissimilar experiences. Where Ben Woodburn — youngest ever goalscorer for the Reds, you’ll remember — has only managed 17 minutes for Sheffield United in the past two months, Liverpool’s other Welsh starlet is seemingly only getting better and better.

Harry Wilson — coming off a spectacular loan spell at Hull to end last season — started well enough for Derby County this year, but a muscle injury ruled him out for a full month immediately after notching his first assist of the year, and fears that the 21-year old would struggle to fight his back in contention as the Rams battle for promotion began emerging.

Wilson, though, was unperturbed, and followed up a goal in his first start after the injury with that free kick — complete with cheeky five-finger celebration — to help knock Manchester United out of the Cacabaw Carabao Cup. Consistently strong performances have followed, and last night, while Liverpool demolished Red Star Belgrade at Anfield, the Welsh attacker was on the mark again, notching a goal and an assist as Derby equalled West Bromwich’s points haul on the season by battering their hosts 4-1.

As the Liverpool youth product now begins to amass senior minutes at a respectable level, fans can get an idea of what Wilson would bring to the Reds first team. Across his two loan spells, the 21-year old has scored or assisted a goal every 124 minutes, and while his conversion rate has predictably dropped somewhat from its prodigious levels of last spring, the underlying numbers suggest that a full season would yield between 15 and 20 goal contributions. Wilson’s 1.3 dribbles per 90 minutes may not turn many heads, but 2.6 ball recoveries — an outstanding number for an attacker — absolutely should.

The Welsh international signed a new long-term deal with Liverpool before leaving on loan, indicating that the coaching staff — who have not been afraid to let youth players go in the past — believe Wilson may have a future on Merseyside after he returns. All the young man can do until then is keep proving them right.

(Assist at 1:20, goal at 2:48)

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Liverpool Offside Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Liverpool FC news from Liverpool Offside