WITH 10 Championship goals to his name, Harry Wilson’s value to Derby County’s pursuit of promotion is in no doubt.
So, if Hull City are to keep their own Premier League ambitions on track today then a way of stopping their former loanee will be vital.
“He was excellent for us and we wanted to keep him,” said Nigel Adkins, who brought Wilson to the KCOM Stadium from Liverpool a little over a year ago.
“That is no secret. I got a lovely message from his family, a nice card thanking us for his time here and helping in his development. That was nice.
“You are always going to keep an eye out for a player like Harry once you have worked with him.
“Hopefully, he does well at Derby this season – though obviously not against us – and then he gets his opportunity at Liverpool next season.”
City can move to within a point of seventh-placed Derby today with victory at Pride Park.
It will not be easy against a Rams side who have already beaten the Tigers twice this season, albeit during an opening month of the season that saw the East Riding club struggle.
Stopping Wilson will be key, though Adkins admits to being proud of the strides made by the 21-year-old since arriving at Hull.
“I have always made sure there is a pathway for the youngsters to come through and sometimes I take players on loan,” said the City chief.
You are always going to keep an eye out for a player like Harry once you have worked with him. Hopefully, he does well at Derby this season – though obviously not against us
“We gave Harry a platform here and there is a lot of talented young British players out there whose pathway is blocked.
“Ultimately, the Liverpool first team are challenging at the top end and can’t afford to let youngsters make mistakes. That is the problem with youngsters not getting games to push through.
“It is a results driven industry and you can be fearful of playing youngsters.
“At my previous club (Sheffield United), I played Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Che Adams.
“Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t because people want the here and now. It is nice to see Harry Wilson doing so well.”