Winger left out of Liverpool's Champions League squad
Welsh international winger Harry Wilson has not been included in Liverpool’s squad for the group stage of this season’s Champions League, further throwing his future at Liverpool into doubt.
The 23-year-old academy graduate made his first-ever start against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup last week but failed to make much of an impression, missing the all-important penalty in the shootout defeat to the Gunners.
The Welshman will play no part in the Champions League group stage after he was omitted from the 24-man squad, acting as a blow to his future chances.
Even though Wilson qualifies as locally trained as well as a home-grown player, the German manager opted to keep the Welshman out, a decision that will surely raise questions on the player’s future.
Liverpool, incidentally, have named seven home-grown and club trained players even though there were eight spots available in the squad for such players.
The seven men are Jordan Henderson, Joe Gomez, James Milner, Caoimhin Kelleher, Harvey Elliott, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Highly-rated teenager Harvey Elliott was included, however, as was Xherdan Shaqiri, who stayed put beyond the summer transfer window.
This appears to be another big sign that Wilson’s future lies away from Anfield, with the Welshman not at the level required to be a success at the Premier League champions.
The fact that he didn’t start a game for Liverpool until he was 23 speaks volumes, as does 17-year-old Elliott’s inclusion ahead of him.
If Jurgen Klopp truly rated him, he would surely have been afforded more opportunities by now especially considering how Klopp has promoted academy graduates like Trent Alexander-Arnold and Curtis Jones to the first team.
There is still time for Wilson to secure a loan move to a Championship club before the October 16th cutoff, however, which makes sense in terms of playing time but it will be a backward move for the winger.
He did reasonably well with Bournemouth in the Premier League last season, scoring seven times although it was not enough to save the cherries from getting relegated.
It has been speculated that Liverpool could agree on a season-long loan with the obligation to buy if the club in question were to secure promotion to the Premier League.
In many ways, this is a sensible deal for all parties, particularly if the Reds can negotiate a £20 million fee as they were hoping earlier in the window, and it is likely that many sides would be interested, including Bournemouth.
But after a campaign with the Cherries in the Premier League last season, it would be a cruel step down for Wilson to move back to the Championship for 2020/21.
Though it was a hit-and-miss season for the Welshman at Dean Court, Wilson still finished as Bournemouth‘s second-top scorer in all competitions, having struck seven goals including a stunning free-kick against Manchester City.
It was previously claimed that if Liverpool were unable to reach a deal that met their price tag, Wilson would stay as part of Klopp’s squad until at least January, but a failure to sell Shaqiri appears to have blown that chance.
While returning to the Championship will give Wilson the game time he requires, which would not be on offer at Anfield, it is a strange situation to find himself in, having seen the prospect of a move to Burnley dismissed.
He was due to leave Liverpool in the summer transfer window, but Burnley‘s offer worth up to £16 million was rejected, and unlike Xherdan Shaqiri, who also stayed, the 23-year-old is left in limbo.
Here is the Liverpool Champions League Squad:
Goalkeepers: Alisson Becker, Adrian San Miguel, Caoimhin Kelleher
Defenders: Virgil van Dijk, Andy Robertson, Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kostas Tsimikas, Joel Matip
Midfielders: Henderson, Fabinho, Naby Keita, Thiago Alcantara, James Milner, Takumi Minamino, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Xherdan Shaqiri, Harvey Elliott
Forwards: Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane, Divock Origi, Diogo Jota
Featured image credits - Sky Sports