Harry Wilson harnessed his inner Fabio Aurelio as he scored another free-kick in Derby County’s 3-1 win over Birmingham City on Saturday afternoon.
The Wales international has been in excellent form since returning from a groin injury in September, establishing himself as a key figure under Frank Lampard.
After a hard-fought defeat to Chelsea in the League Cup fourth round in midweek, the Rams were back in Championship action at Pride Park at the weekend.
Wilson started as part of a midfield three alongside Tom Huddlestone and Duane Holmes, but his side fell behind to a Lukas Jutkiewicz strike after just 10 minutes.
However, Derby took control as they fought back, with Liverpool’s No. 59 going close with a trademark free-kick, and fed Jack Marriott through for an effort well saved by Lee Camp.
Academy product Mason Bennett restored parity on 53 minutes, and soon after the hosts took the lead through Wilson.
It came, unsurprisingly, through a set-piece, and while previously he has showcased his accuracy from long range, this was a more audacious strike from a tight angle—albeit benefiting from a deflection:
The ball went in via a trailing Birmingham leg, but the technique Wilson applied was hugely impressive, showcasing the confidence he has built working under Lampard.
And though the Brazilian’s was further out, and from a more central area, there were certainly shades of Aurelio’s free-kick against Chelsea in 2009.
A goal from Marriott with under 20 minutes to play guaranteed the victory for the Rams, who sit fourth in the table, just two points behind Championship leaders Norwich City.
Wilson has now scored four and assisted two in 14 games for his loan side, with Saturday bringing his fourth consecutive full 90 minutes in the second tier.
His strike against the Blues was his third directly from a free-kick for club and country this season, with hard work on the training ground paying off.
Fellow loanee Mason Mount (35) is the only Derby player to have created more chances than Wilson (18) in the league, though this comes with having played 508 minutes more.
Interestingly, only Fikayo Tomori (30) has made more successful tackles (22), again having spent 461 minutes more on the pitch.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Wilson’s fellow countryman, Ben Woodburn, made his first appearance since September as he came off the substitutes’ bench in Sheffield United’s 1-0 loss at Nottingham Forest.
The Blades are now just one point ahead of Derby in second, setting up an interesting duel between two of Liverpool’s most high-profile loanees as they chase promotion.