Former Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper and England international Paul Robinson has encouraged West Bromwich Albion to steal a march on Fulham and win the race for Liverpool winger Harry Wilson, in an interview with Football Insider.
Wilson is a fully established international player for Wales but has failed to break through at Anfield since graduating from the Merseyside club’s academy – and Liverpool are now willing to cash in on the wide man after shipping him out on loan several times.
Over the past three years, the 24-year-old has impressed at Derby County, AFC Bournemouth and more recently, Cardiff City on a temporary deal.
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Wilson enjoyed a full season of Premier League football at the Vitality Stadium in the 2019/20 system – but has been most deadly in the Championship – tempting recently-relegated duo Fulham and West Brom to join the race for the winger who is also said to be interesting Portuguese outfit Benfica and top-flight new boys Brentford.
The Baggies, who released Kamil Grosicki and Kyle Edwards in the summer, could potentially benefit from this signing with the 24-year-old recording an impressive seven goals and 12 assists in 37 Championship appearances for Cardiff last term.
One potential move that could make this deal possible, despite his £15m price tag, is the likely sale of Matheus Pereira. Baggies boss Valerien Ismael is resigned to losing the Brazilian this summer and after placing a £30m valuation above his head, could potentially re-invest this money in Wilson.
Former England goalkeeper and Football Insider pundit Paul Robinson has called this potential transfer a ‘great deal’, despite holding reservations about Ismael’s style and how the Liverpool winger would adapt to that.
Speaking to the outlet, Robinson said: “Wow, now that would be a great deal if they can pull it off.
“He would be a good replacement for Pereira.
“It just depends how the manager wants to play. I’m not sure if Harry Wilson fits into the style that Ismael wants. We saw the way he played at Barnsley last year and for that reason I think the other clubs mentioned would suit Wilson a lot better.
“I think he is a top footballer. But watching the way Ismael had Barnsley playing last season I cannot see that one coming off. I cannot imagine West Brom being the best fit for Wilson.”
Marco Silva’s Fulham are reported to be leading the race currently according to Goal’s Neil Jones – but Pereira’s likely departure could change the game in this transfer saga.
This might not be the best deal for Wilson considering the Baggies’ return to the Championship and Ismael’s playing style, but he would be an ideal replacement for Matheus Pereira if he leaves The Hawthorns this summer.
The West Brom manager is likely to change things up ahead of next season to retain the unpredictability needed to succeed in the Championship as well – and may adapt his system slightly to get the best out of Harry Wilson if he arrives in the West Midlands this summer.
Getting the very best out of his squad at Barnsley was the cause of the Tykes’ meteoric rise last season, so there’s no reason why he can’t do that again despite the weight of expectation.
The price tag is currently a stumbling block though and they will need to sell Pereira or goalkeeper Sam Johnstone before even thinking about launching an eight-figure fee for Wilson.
In the past few months, the EFL have started to clamp down on financial mismanagement, hampering many clubs across the second tier. Because of this, West Brom need to think about their finances first before submitting an offer for the 24-year-old.