An ideology of some football fans has always been to spend big in order to get the best players, another is to invest time, man hours and patience into uprising talents in the academy.
Liverpool have had a huge breakthrough star from their academy with the name of Trent Alexander-Arnold, who was a breath of fresh air for the Reds last season. Scoring on his first Champions League start and featuring 19 times for the Merseyside outfit in the Premier League, this should have been the benchmark for the Liverpool coaching staff and players to go on and produce the next best thing.
It’s fair to say that the Welsh sensation Harry Wilson has not had much of an opportunity at Liverpool. Some might say that he deserves the opportunity to feature for the first team after making his international debut for Wales in the last 12 months.
The only senior appearances that the youngster has made was against Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup which finished in a 0-0 draw. Why isn’t the Wrexham-born creative midfielder being afforded the opportunity that Alexander-Arnold got?
Wilson stated previously his determination not to throw in the towel as he vows to break into the first team and stay here. His tenacity has to be admired, where others would have given up in his position.
While Liverpool fans’ attention has been turned by the imminent arrival of goalkeeper Allison from Roma, pundit and former Liverpool striker Neil Mellor questioned the decision to loan Wilson to Derby County, having already proven himself in the Championship.
This is completely understandable and makes those wonder why he was loaned to the same league for the second consecutive season, after spending last season at Hull City. How will the same level of football benefit him? Will we see him in a Liverpool shirt again? Has he found his level? These are fair questions to be asked to manager Jurgen Klopp who is the only one to understand the answers to those questions.
He played very well in both pre-season matches against Chester and Tranmere Rovers and definitely made a case for him to be featured alongside the top players at the club. The Welsh maestro turned 21 back in March and the clock is ticking for Wilson to cement his place in the Liverpool side.
Seven goals from 11 starts for the Humberside outfit has more than justified that Wilson is a class above the Championship. No disrespect to the league as a whole but the facts are the facts. Players such as Ryan Kent, and fellow countryman Ben Woodburn could also fall under the same bracket as Wilson as not being given the chance that they deserve.
Klopp is not giving up on the academy after making the bold decision to move the club’s training facility to a world-class facility in Kirby where the first team and the academy can train within the same complex.
Is it a bad time for these forward playing youths to be brought through? After all, it is Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane that are the three players that they are effectively challenging for places, three of the best combined forward players that the Reds have had for a long time.
Time will tell whether they get a shot at the big time and if they get the chance to score in front of the Kop, full to capacity. However, three successful academy graduations in eight years, including Raheem Sterling and Jon Flanagan, is better than others but still concerning.