Liverpool U23s coach Mike Garrity has explained that Harry Wilson must “become outstanding” in order to catch Jurgen Klopp‘s eye regularly.
Wilson has transitioned into life as a regular as the Reds’ Melwood training ground, and made his senior debut in January’s 1-0 win away to Plymouth Argyle in the FA Cup.
But he is yet to add to his sole appearance for Liverpool, while his Wales team-mate Ben Woodburn continues to be given opportunities in attack.
Sunday’s 2-1 loss at home to Crystal Palace saw 17-year-old academy striker Rhian Brewster preferred as part of Klopp’s substitutes’ bench, raising eyebrows among supporters.
However, Garrity believes he can continue to progress at first-team level by proving himself “outstanding,” during a season that has seen him score 28 goals for the U23s.
“He has put in consistent performances at U23 level with goals and assists,” Garrity explained.
“And he got the recognition from Melwood. He has made the jump over there and he has done well.
“Harry has helped the U23s team in more ways than one and he has gone from strength to strength.
“He is another boy who is level-headed with his feet on the ground.
“He has got to continue working hard and keep developing the strengths that he has got and become outstanding at what he does, and then hopefully we can see him break through.”
There is no doubting Wilson’s goalscoring prowess at U23 level, as 28 goals from a wide role is hugely impressive.
But it is clearly in training that the 20-year-old needs to impress Klopp, much in the same way his fellow academy winger Sheyi Ojo does.
Wilson is a nimble, creative talent with a clear eye for goal, but there are certainly elements of his physical game that can improve, with Sadio Mane and Philippe Coutinho key role models.
Both of Klopp’s first-choice wingers possess a deceptive strength off the ball, meshing this with a strong work ethic, and emulating this would clearly enhance Wilson’s chances.
Giving Wilson the U23s captaincy this season has given the Wales international more responsibility, but as Garrity attests, it is now about making the next step.
The coming summer will be a pivotal one for Wilson, as he looks to prove his worth to Klopp for the long term.