You’d be hard-pressed to find any Derby County fan with a bad word to say about Harry Wilson.
The Welshman was absolutely excellent for the Rams during the 2018/19 season netting 18 goals during his loan spell, so you can understand exactly why the Midlands outfit were trying to bring him back before he seemingly agreed to move to Cardiff.
However, as silly as it sounds, Derby didn’t need Wilson back at the club.
For as good as Wilson was, many of his contributions were from dead-ball situations with eight of his 18 goals coming from either free-kicks or penalties, and Derby already have a man for that job.
Wayne Rooney is one of the finest strikers of the ball this country has ever seen, and he evidenced against Norwich a couple of weeks ago that he still has the skill to curl in a picture-perfect free-kick, while his penalty record throughout his career speaks for itself.
Almost half of Wilson’s goals during his last spell at Derby came from dead-balls, and while he did contribute 10 goals from other situations, is it really worth outlaying for his wages if his best attribute is going to be underutilised?
Of course, if Derby could have got a good deal for him where they only pay a small percentage of his reported £60,000-a-week wage, they should have gone and got him, but Liverpool were apparently after as much cash as possible. Cardiff seem to have won that race, but even still, signing Wilson while Rooney is already at the club seems a bit unnecessary.
Wilson is rated as a £14.4m-valued player by Transfermarkt, but his dead-ball prowess certainly adds a few million to that valuation, and Derby don’t really need that at the moment because Rooney is already doing a quality job from those situations.
Rooney only joined Derby in January and he already has six goals from set-pieces, and it’ll be hard to convince the ex-England captain to step aside and let a Liverpool loanee take up the mantle.