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Harry Wilson may be forced to leave Liverpool for first-team opportunities

Josh Kerr

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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?

(Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

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.

I am a freelance sports journalist currently studying sports journalism at Staffordshire University with a passion for all things football. I'm a keen supporter of Liverpool Football Club, as well as my local side Forest Green Rovers. I've worked for online newspaper VAVEL UK as well as a media assistant for Chester FC in the Vanarama National League.

Liverpool

Liverpool round-up: Offer for Robertson; new deal for Grujic; Firmino wants title

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Liverpool are preparing a pay rise for Andrew Robertson

Andrew Robertson may only have joined the Reds last summer, but the Scottish defender is in line for a new contract which will doubles his wages, according to the Mirror. The club have been so impressed by his form since joining from Hull that they want to reward him with a pay rise.

The left-back became a regular for Jurgen Klopp after a slow start to life on Merseyside and more than justified his £10 million fee, which now looks a bargain.

Marko Grujic is set to sign a new deal and depart on loan

After rumours of an exit throughout the summer, Sky Sports say that young midfielder Marko Grujic will sign a new contract at Anfield until 2023 and then head out on loan to Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin.

Grujic spent time with Cardiff as they won promotion from the Championship last season and was expected to return to Wales but a move never came to fruition and he will now go to Germany to continue his development.

Roberto Firmino has discussed his ambitions

Brazilian forward Roberto Firmino has spoken exclusively to the Mirror to give an interview in which he made it clear that him and his team-mates are aiming for the Premier League title this season.

“I am optimistic and I believe ­Liverpool are capable of fighting for the greatest success this season. I also think we have a better team than last season and that the new ­players will improve the performance of the team. We have shown in the last campaign that our dreams can be fulfilled and that we can return to the path of winning titles. This year, we must not fail and that is the attitude of the ­players. I’m only interested in Liverpool and winning everything I can with them. We know what it would mean to be champions.”

Firmino discussed his future.

The former Hoffenheim man is a fan favourite at Anfield and clearly has no plans to depart the club in the near future with his sights set on success under Jurgen Klopp.

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Liverpool round-up: Klopp demands more; Klavan explains exit; loans for youngsters

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Boss Jurgen Klopp has demanded more from Liverpool‘s fringe players

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has made it clear that he will not tolerate any complaints from unhappy fringe players this season as he relies on them to make their point on the training ground.

“I cannot make people happy, I never could. Whatever happens on 31 August there will be a specific point where it is clear that is the squad for the next four months until January. Who cannot be happy in these four months being part of the squad at Liverpool I cannot help. Everyone who trains on his highest level – because the decision has already been made that they are good enough to play for Liverpool – has a big chance to be an important part of the team, to stay in the team and all these things.”

Klopp won’t pander to any demands from his players.

The German did not hide his feelings having been forced to leave out the likes of Alberto Moreno and Ragnar Klavan last weekend, whilst Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren remain sidelined. Klavan has since left the club, and as the transfer market enters the final stages in other countries it appears more exits could be on the way.

Ragnar Klavan has revealed that two Liverpool players encouraged him to leave

Estonian defender Ragnar Klavan completed a £2 million move to Serie A side Cagliari on Friday just before the transfer deadline arrived in Italy, and he has explained his decision to leave Merseyside.

“I had offers from several teams, including in other countries, but Cagliari really wanted me. Darijo Srna advised me to come here, as I talked to him via Dejan Lovren. Other Liverpool teammates like Alisson, Salah and Lucas Leiva all spoke highly of Serie A.”

Klavan revealed the thoughts behind making the move.

Some fans may have been surprised to see him depart but given that he was entering into the final year of his contract and was unlikely to feature regularly with the likes of Matip, Lovren, Joe Gomez and Virgil Van Dijk ahead of him, it makes sense.

Under 23s set for loan deals

The Liverpool Echo report that the final two weeks of the loan transfer window could see several under 23s players depart the club on loan in search of regular game time, joining the likes of Harry Wilson, Ben Woodburn, Ryan Kent and Ovie Ejaria who have already headed out on loan.

Many of those to feature for the team against Manchester United under 23s on Friday evening spent time out on loan last season, including Spanish midfielder Pedro Chirivella who was heavily involved in pre-season and was linked with a move away.

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Liverpool round-up: Grujic bid rejected; interest in Karius; Brewster nears return

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Liverpool have rejected a bid for Marko Grujic

The transfer window may have closed in England but it remains open until Friday in Italy and reports from the Liverpool Echo say that the Reds have turned down an approach from Serie A side Torino for midfielder Marko Grujic. The deal was reportedly a season long loan with an option to buy worth 10 million euros (£9 million).

The Serbian was heavily involved in pre-season after impressing for Cardiff City on loan last season and was expected to return to Wales after helping them earn promotion but a move collapsed.

Besiktas are considering a move for Loris Karius

Turkish newspaper Aksam claim that Besiktas have emerged as candidates to sign German goalkeeper Loris Karius on loan to provide him with an Anfield escape having lost the number one shirt to Alisson Becker after his Champions League final nightmare in Kiev in May.

Jurgen Klopp’s plans for the goalkeeper remain unclear despite publicly giving him a vote of confidence and a loan deal may be an ideal solution. Much could depend on the Turkish team’s pursuit of other targets, including Arsenal‘s David Ospina.

Rhian Brewster is nearing a return to fitness

It was a major blow to Liverpool’s plans for young striker Rhian Brewster when he picked up a serious ankle ligament injury in January, but under 23s manager Neil Critchley has told Goal that he could return to light training as soon as next month after a summer of rehabilitation.

“I’m sure he’ll be doing a few people’s heads in down at Melwood, chomping at the bit and ready to return! He’ll be quite restless. He’s a young boy who loves playing football and wants to play football, so he’ll hugely frustrated at the moment.”

Liverpool under 23s manager Neil Critchley has backed his striker.

The 18-year-old was training alongside Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to rebuild fitness after signing a new deal to commit himself to the Merseyside outfit despite interest from elsewhere.

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