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Oh Danny Boy!

Wilson: The New...Hansen?

Danny Wilson’s rise to the big time has been nothing short of meteoric. Just over a year ago, at the age of 17, he was thrown into his first senior game in a CIS quarter-final cup tie against Dundee. Now, the young man from Livingston, trained and overseen by Scottish champions Rangers, has secured a dream move to Liverpool.

There’s been a fair bit of hyperbole banded around relating to a certain Kenny Dalglish – who made a similar trip across the northern boundary from Glasgow to Merseyside in 1977 – not in the least bit helped by the youngster’s ill advised comment pertaining to the Scottish-Liverpudlian legend. But whatever the future holds for the 18-year-old, it’s more likely he’ll be dubbed – rather embarrassingly, and certainly less glamorously – as the new Alan Hansen once he has introduced himself.

After the aforementioned scrappy affair with Dundee, Wilson managed to keep his place for Rangers’ trip to Romania in the Champions League tie against Unirea Urziceni. He became the youngest player to represent the Scottish club in the Champions League and turned in another fine performance as Walter Smith’s side earned a 1-1 draw.

After a short spell in the team during November, it wasn’t until after the New Year that the defender would get a recall for the Old Firm derby and shine once again.

In total, Wilson featured 14 times for Rangers in the SPL last season – his first in professional football, getting on the score-sheet with a well taken header against Hearts and supplying an assist for Kenny Miller’s goal in the 3-1 win over Aberdeen.

How this will all translate to the Premier League is so far uncertain. It would be unlikely to imagine that Roy Hodgson would throw Wilson in at the deep end on day one – especially as day one sees the visitation of Arsenal to Anfield. Even though the defender has proven able to cope with the big fixtures north of the border, it would nevertheless be inadvisable. The Premier League, after all, is a superior beast.

In all probability, therefore, the youngster may become heavily acquainted with the Anfield bench. Thankfully the signing of Joe Cole should grab the attention of inquiring minds and that should allow him time to settle and enter the first team in his own time.

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