HARRY WILSON has long been on the radar of Liverpool fans, certainly since becoming the youngest ever player to play for Wales aged just 16 years and 207 days, beating the record previously held by a certain Gareth Bale.
However, it hasn’t been all plain sailing for the youngster since. Last year a loan spell to Crewe Alexandra was cut short due to a lack of playing time, and the rest of the season was blighted by injury.
But this season Wilson is back with a bang, scoring four goals so far for the under-23s, including a wonderful backheel flick against Manchester United on Monday. Today, Wilson spoke to The Anfield Wrap about his new role, acknowledging there is a greater impetus on him to deliver at key moments for the team.
“It does play on my mind that I’ve got to lead this team more. But when you cross the white line you’ve just got to do what feels right. So if the team need a lift, you try and give that lift to them. If they need a moment of inspiration you try and provide that.
“The goal (against Manchester United) was important. I thought the game was even, maybe we were a bit on top, but United were defending well. I think that goal settled us down a bit. From a personal point of view, if I feel I am scoring and assisting and helping the team then I’m confident the points will come for us.”
When playing so well, Wilson naturally looks towards the first team, especially with others from the academy getting their chance in Jürgen Klopp’s side. However, he admits that he still has plenty to learn from those currently playing in a similar position for Liverpool.
“The way the first team play has definitely changed since the manager came in. He likes that high press, high intensity game. So I do keep an eye on the likes of Coutinho and Lallana. The way they move off the ball and their work rate to win the ball back.
“I think, when they are on the ball, we all know they’ve got the quality to produce anything. I think the goals they’ve scored and created this season shows that. What I watch is what they do off the ball. I think if I can get a few tips on what they do to win it back or get on the ball, I think that will push me forward.”
This Sunday, Liverpool under-23s face Everton in the “mini derby”, a game that Wilson says he always looks forward to, especially after scoring in both games against Everton last season – one of which was a last minute winner.
“I’ve been here for 10/11 years now, so although I’m not a scouser I know the rivalry as well as anyone. At any age group when you play Everton there is that extra responsibility on everyone. The first tackle, the first header, the first goal, they are all very important and they set the tone for the game.”
That game takes place at Prenton Park on Sunday at 1pm in the Premier League 2.
Tickets are just £4 for adults and £1 for children and concessions. Members and season ticket holders can gain admission free of charge.