Liverpool U23 coach Neil Critchley has explained that taking the captaincy off Harry Wilson was done because there was an assumption the youngster would be heavily involved in the first-team this season.
Corey Whelan skippers the side that are currently leading Premier League 2 with a so far perfect record, but Wilson has been a mainstay, having not yet been given minutes by Jurgen Klopp.
The Welshman is still tearing up trees for the U23s though, and since the start of last season – has a ridiculous record which reads 33 goals and 17 assists in 43 appearances.
“This season supporters will have noticed Corey Whelan has been our captain,” he told the official website.
“When we decided Corey would be U23s captain this season it wasn’t taking anything away from Harry, who as I said did a great job as the skipper last season. Harry was at Melwood and we were unsure what his plan for the season would be at that time before he got injured, and we knew Corey would be with us on a regular basis this season.
“Corey has been at Liverpool since the age of 10 and I thought it would be a big thing for him to give him the captaincy. He has got leadership qualities and I think that is something he can develop. We thought that would be the right thing to do for him to give him the armband and he has done very well for us. Corey is so versatile as a player. One of his main assets is you can ask him to play anywhere across the back four and he just gets his head down and gets on with it. There’s no sign of despondency from him playing out of position and he sees that as a challenge. That’s another reason why he is the captain, because of his attitude every day in training, which is outstanding.”
Despite Wilson’s form, it’s Ben Woodburn who’s been given the chances to impress for the first-team.
For the U23s, Wilson is a more consistent performer and is also two years Woodburn’s senior, so it’s perhaps telling of which player Klopp believes is the most talented.
Wilson is proving he’s simply too good for U23 football though, and needs a loan move in January if Klopp cannot provide him the minutes his talent warrants.