Harry Wilson will spend the upcoming 2019/20 season on loan at AFC Bournemouth, after the Premier League outfit confirmed an agreement with Liverpool.
The 22-year-old will join up with Eddie Howe’s team ahead of the first game of the season this weekend after a £2.5million loan fee with another £500,000 relating to performance bonuses.
Wilson set for crucial year to show he can handle Premier League
The Wales international caught the eye on loan at Derby County last season, helping Frank Lampard’s side reach the Championship play-off final with a flurry of goals. Ranging from long-range strikes to free-kicks to clinical team goals, he will now be given the opportunity to prove himself in England’s top flight in an attempt to prove to Jurgen Klopp that he is capable of making the step up and become a viable option.
Wilson has featured heavily for Jurgen Klopp’s side during pre-season, fuelling suggestions that he could remain at Anfield and provide additional reinforcements for the front-three ahead of a jam-packed campaign. However, the assurance of game time alongside a sizeable £2.5million loan fee was enough for the club to give the green light.
A likely replacement for David Brooks, who faces three months on the injury table with an ankle issue, Bournemouth presents a much rosier environment for Wilson to get game time week in, week out – a key component in the development of any player, building rhythm.
No option to buy was included, signalling that Liverpool remain interested in his long-term picture. Indeed, the hope will be that the forward can hit the ground running, picking up vital experience in the league before returning to Anfield a more complete player.
Could Liverpool be left short in the attacking department?
Making six appearances in Liverpool’s pre-season games, scoring against Borussia Dortmund and Lyon, Wilson had shown a few signs that he could offer something for the season ahead.
His ability to unleash a killer long-range shot, breaking the deadlock from a position of little danger, could have added another dynamic to the front line, accompanying the present flurry of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane.
Having now sanctioned the move, Liverpool will go into the season with very limited options to support their first-choice front three. Indeed, it is unlikely Salah, Firmino and Mane will all have another injury free season, laving Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri as the two most experienced understudies. Playing significant parts last year, they are likely to maintain similar roles as The Reds look to navigate six different competitions.
Elsewhere, Harvey Elliot has shown promise and while only sixteen years of age, his natural ability has impressed Klopp since signing from Fulham. Rhian Brewster could also pick up some first-team action this season.