Harry Wilson insists he is “good enough” to be part of the Liverpool squad next season, and believes a stunning hat-trick on loan at Cardiff proves he has the quality needed.
Wilson is into his 16th year on the Reds’ books, but now 24 years old, has only made two appearances for the first team – those coming almost four years apart.
This season has seen the Welshman play out his fifth loan move, and his third season-long spell in a row, with it widely expected that he will leave Liverpool on a permanent basis at the end of the season.
Saturday saw Wilson turn out for the 37th time for Cardiff, and he marked it with an outrageous treble in a 4-0 win at Birmingham.
Starting in one of the central supporting roles behind striker Kieffer Moore, Wilson got off the mark within nine minutes, and did so in stunning fashion, bending into the top corner with the outside of his boot after picking up a loose ball.
His second also came from his left, bending a free-kick low into the bottom corner from 25 yards out, before an unstoppable effort from Mark Harris made it 3-0.
And standing over another set-piece in the dying minutes, Wilson completed his hat-trick by fading his strike into the top-left corner, earning the match ball with his final touch of the game.
Speaking after the win – which came in his penultimate game for the Championship club – the creative midfielder set out his stall ahead of a decisive summer, insisting he was “good enough” for Liverpool.
“I feel I’m good enough to be in that squad. I’d like to think I could go in there and add something different,” he said, as relayed by BBC Sport.
“It’s always been my aim to get into the Liverpool team and play for the club I’ve been at since I was eight. But you know the quality Liverpool have got, the famous front three.
“I’ve always been confident in my ability and, playing with the players in that team, I feel it would help me with my game.”
However, the Wales international remains realistic about his chances, saying it is “out of my hands” and that “if it’s not with Liverpool, I’m determined to get a move.”
Cardiff manager Mick McCarthy feels Wilson is capable of reaching the Reds’ level, adding: “Why could he not go back to Liverpool and play there?
“He is their player. I’m not going to pick and choose where he should go, but he is absolute quality.”