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Aston Villa: Steven Gerrard has a real diamond in Rory Wilson

Aston Villa enjoyed a fine transfer window over the course of the summer, with Johan Lange adding no less than seven new faces to Steven Gerrard’s first-team squad, while also moving 12 players onto pastures new – be that on loan deals or a permanent basis.

Indeed, the Premier League side welcomed the likes of Diego Carlos, Philippe Coutinho, Leander Dendoncker, Robin Olsen and Boubacar Kamara to Villa Park on permanent deals, while both Ludwig Augustinsson and Jan Bednarek joined the club on season-long loans.

However, despite spending roughly £63m on the aforementioned signings, there was one lesser-known deal of Lange’s that could well prove to be the sporting director’s best of the window – his £350k swoop for Glasgow Rangers centre-forward, Rory Wilson.

To say that the 16-year-old is a striker who has a knack for hitting the back of the net would arguably be the understatement of the century, as the Scottish sensation scored a simply breathtaking 49 goals in all competitions last time out – including eight in 11 appearances for Scotland’s U17s.

Considering these returns, it is not difficult to understand why many involved with Rangers were incensed by Villa’s signing of the teenager, with former right-back Alan Hutton stating his belief that the loss of Wilson was a “massive blow” for the Ibrox side.

In an interview with Football Insider back in July, the former Scotland international said of the youngster’s move to Villa Park:

“I think it’s a massive blow. It’s probably up there with the likes of Billy Gilmour and these kind of guys that have left for compensation deals. We’re talking about a 16-year-old so we know it’s only potential at this moment in time, but he scored 49 goals last season – that’s an incredible return.

“He’s breaking into the international scene, he’s scoring goals there and Steven Gerrard will know him well so he understands what he’s getting. He’s probably seen him in training as well throughout the season.

“So to lose somebody like that, it’s kind of annoying. I’m only thinking from a fan’s point of view, you want to see these guys come through and break into the first team. To see them leave for £350k is a bit of a shame.

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“The lure of the Premier League is massive and Steven Gerrard obviously. So it’s a decision that you kind of understand. Hopefully, he can go down there and go from strength to strength and that hopefully helps Scotland in the future.”

And, considering the exceptional form Wilson has been in over his four U18 Premier League appearances for Villa so far this season, it would appear as if the centre-forward has no intention of slowing down any time soon, having already bagged four goals for Gerard Nash’s youth side.

This form has already seen the 16-year-old make his debut for Scotland’s U21 side, while Brian Mclaughlin, the SFA Performance School manager and Scotland U17 coach, went as far as to claim that Wilson is “one of the best strikers at his age in Europe.”

As such, while it would still appear a little while yet before the youngster has developed enough to cope with the physicality of Premier League football, should the striker be able to maintain his remarkable goalscoring record throughout U21 football, it would very much seem as if Gerrard has an incredible talent on his hands.

Article title: Aston Villa: Steven Gerrard has a real diamond in Rory Wilson

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