Liverpool have emerged as the favourites to land highly-rated Scottish youngster Danny Wilson it has been revealed. The deal could be as much as £3million.
The Rangers youngster is reportedly being tracked by a number of interested parties across both Scotland and England with the likes of Manchester City and Tottenham also keen to bring the wonderkid across the border.
Rafa Benitez is one of several managers in the English game who has been watching Wilson’s progress throughout the course of the season. The centre-half is already in the frame to land Scotland’s player of the year after an impressive spell at the Gers. However he has just 15 months left to run on his contract and the talented youngster who has progressed enormously from his time at Murray Park may feel the time is now right to seek a fresh challenge.
Wilson, who turned 18 in December last year had been a regular figure in the Gers U-19 side and was captain of the side that came agonisingly close to landing a third consecutive league and cup double in the 2008/2009 campaign. His extraordinary progress at the club saw him push his way into the reserve set-up, which led to him being named on the bench for the Homecoming Scottish cup fourth round-tie against St.Johnstone in January 2009.
It was nine months later that Wilson would earn his first competitive appearance for the Rangers first team where he lined up in the Co-operative Insurance cup quarter-final tie against Dundee in October 2009. His steady performances from that moment on earned himself high praise from figures in the game including manager Walter Smith who admitted he had been keeping close tabs on Wilson’s progress.
Wilson made his Champions League debut against Romanian outfit Unirea Urziceni away in Romania where he put in a fine performance alongside David Weir where he quickly settled into the side and looked comfortable playing at such a high-level. He also played in the champions league home game against German side Stuttgart.
That was just the beginning of what would be six consecutive starts for the first-team as well as an SPL debut against Dundee United at Tannadice which was subsequently abandoned at half-time.
The return to fitness of Madjid Bougherra meant that the youngster was then dropped but he was quickly recalled in the New Year where he featured in an Old Firm encounter at the start of 2010. That game came at the same time as Wilson’s promotion to the senior squad alongside midfielder John Fleck.
Rangers manager Walter Smith accepts that keeping hold of Wilson will be extremely difficult but is disappointed by the way the situation has developed:
“It’s disappointing that they did that but that’s the world we live in at the present moment. While it’s disappointing for everyone at the club, especially as they’ve both come through the youth ranks, it’s something we’ll just need to accept. The situation we’re placed in with agents means that the boys aren’t actually handling any part of it: it’s other people who are doing that.’’
And whilst Walter Smith and Rangers as a club will be extremely disappointed to lose such a big talent, the arrival of Wilson would provide Benitez with immediate cover for the likes of Jamie Carragher, Daniel Agger and Martin Skrtel. It will also help that the youngster has previous experience of playing in Europe’s prestigious competition.
And whilst a deal for the young defender is far from completed, it seems almost certain that he will be heading across the English-Scottish border sometime in the near future, to Anfield or not.
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