Liverpool are closing in on the capture of one of British football’s rising stars.
Danny Wilson, the Scottish central defender, is expected to sign for the Reds in a £3million deal over the next few days after rejecting a £12,000 contract offer to remain at Ibrox.
For a team, struggling in the gloom of boardroom and management uncertainty, Liverpool appear to be making their summer moves early.
The 18-year old defender seems to be a great piece of business for the debt-ridden Reds. Accolades and awards such as the Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year and Rangers supporters Young Player of the Year, demonstrate the promise he has displayed in his young professional career.
For Liverpool, and more specifically their supporters, the signing gives many a welcome lift, disproving for the time being at least the theory that players can no longer be enticed to Anfield due to off the field problems and on field disappointments.
Primarily a central defender, the young Scot will be a welcome acquisition after the injury problems of the last season when Carragher, Skrtel, Agger and Kyriakos all spent time on the treatment table. Left-sided and with great ability with the ball and in the air, the youngster will give the team an added dimension, more in the Daniel Agger mould, than perhaps Jamie Carragher. Although unlikely to be first choice at such a young age, Wilson, it seems has the quality to get his share of starts and provide the manager with the option to rest any first choice pairing if deemed necessary.
The signing of Danny Wilson is a conscious decision on the part of the management staff to increase the number of British players in the squad. The signing of Glen Johnson and more recently Jonjo Shelvey from Charlton highlight this further.
The UEFA quota requirement stipulating at least eight home-grown players must be included in squads was one that was very problematic to the club. After it was later revealed that Liverpool had the highest number of expatriate players within their squad in Europe, at 90%, signings such as the three mentioned above will go some way to satisfying these demands.
Although the ability to spot and sign a young promising player and develop them into a great one is something all clubs strive for, the Liverpool supporters will of course hope to also see a number of more experienced players over the coming months. What is also important however, especially if Rafa Benitez is to remain in charge at Liverpool, is to see more youngsters given an opportunity to impress and gain the experience necessary to improve.
As with all young players, their success and achievement is not guaranteed, despite early awards and recognition that may come their way. Liverpool, in particular, have signed many youngsters over the past few years, of which only a handful have seen any first team action and many of which have left without making a single first team appearance.
Whilst supporters should remain cautious with all young players, the fact that Wilson has already gained great reviews and has experience of British football, this should be an advantage in his development at Liverpool. In what is certainly an overdue search for upcoming youngsters, they may have just spotted a gem.
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