21-year-old Harry Wilson has still yet to improve on his one appearance for Liverpool back in 2017 but with another pre-season at Melwood ahead of him does the youngster have a long-term future with the Reds?
The versatile forward has been with Liverpool since 2015 and has been one of the academy’s best young prospects in recent years. However, compared to the likes of Trent Alexander Arnold, he has failed to make his mark in Jurgen Klopp’s senior side.
The Wales international was outstanding in the Championship this season after a loan spell with struggling Hull City. His time at the KCOM Stadium saw him fire seven goals in 13 appearances for the Tigers to help Nigel Adkins’ narrowly avoid relegation.
Naturally, the youngster’s form in East Yorkshire has inspired a growing interest from outside of Anfield and, according to the Scottish Sun, he has emerged as a target for his former academy boss and Rangers manager Steven Gerrard.
Wilson also recently won Liverpool’s Academy Player of the Year award for the 2017/18 season after his inspired performances for the Under-23’s in Premier League 2, but has this justified a long-term future with the Reds?
Despite another impressive season, it is difficult to see Wilson even coming close to breaking into Liverpool’s starting eleven as the front three position are undoubtedly the club’s most influential.
It would take a world-class name to challenge for one of those positions.
Also, the additions of big money names like Fabinho and Naby Keita will make it difficult for Wilson even to make the substitutes bench, meaning an exit from Merseyside may be on the cards once again.
Ben Woodburn was another who shone in the 2017 season for Jurgen Klopp.
However, summer additions restricted Wilson’s fellow countryman to only one appearance all season for the Reds in 2018.
With the club’s current stance in Europe, it seems more likely that more established names will leave academy prospects frustrated at the declining number of first-team opportunities.
It is difficult for any young player to break into the Premier League, and it has become almost impossible for a youngster in the top-six.
Yan Dhanda realised the growing difficulty of breaking into the firsts, and this inspired a move away from the Premier League as he opted to join Swansea City in the Championship.
Alexander Arnold represents the exception. However, it took an injury to Nathaniel Clyne for his opportunity to arise.
Therefore, it would seem only a significant injury would provide hope for Wilson that there is first-team football available at Anfield.
Wilson’s time at the academy has been an undeniable success, although it would seem more likely that the youngster’s future would be better suited with a move away from Merseyside to establish his career elsewhere.