"Liverpool can't win the League without a Scotsman in their side." Reds have heard that quite often, but the thing is... it's the God's honest truth. Liverpool have always had great Scottish influence in their side from the Team of Macs in 1892 to Alex Raisbeck, who was Liverpool's captain when the Reds won their first two championships in 1901 and 1906. Jock McNab and Donald MacKinlay were the mainstay of Liverpool's defence in the side that won two years in a row in the 20s. Billy Liddell was Liverpool's most dangerous weapon in 1947 and then came Bill Shankly who based his championship teams on Ian St John and Ron Yeats. The holy trinity of Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness and Alan Hansen achieved unparallel success in the club's history from the late 70s all the way to Liverpool's latest championship in 1990.
With just a single season of professional football behind him, 18-year old Scotsman Danny Wilson became Liverpool’s fourth acquisition during the summer of 2010 when he left Glasgow Rangers and signed a three-year deal with Liverpool on the 21st of July for a fee believed to be two million pounds, a figure that had the potential to rise to £5 million because of ‘add-ons’ in the contract. IMScouting page describes Wilson as "a cultured left-footed defender who knows when to time a tackle and can also pick out great cross field passes. With good physical presence he is good in the air at both ends of the pitch."
The young defender came through the youth system at Rangers, was captain of their Under-19 team and tipped to have a big future in the game before he had even made the professional debut that eventually came in a Scottish League Cup tie against Dundee in October, 2009. Wilson became the youngest-ever player to represent Rangers in the Champions League when he was handed a start in an away match at Unirea Urziceni in November 2009.
Wilson made 24 first-team appearances for the Glasgow club in 2009-10, scoring once in a victory over Hearts in Edinburgh. Despite his youth and comparative inexperience, he not only won the Young Player of the Year award voted for by Rangers’ supporters but was also crowned as Young Player of the Year by both the Scottish Football Writers’ Association and the Scottish Professional Footballers’ Association. He also won the Scottish Premier League and Co-operative Insurance Cup with Rangers. Not bad for a first season!
Wilson couldn't believe how the season had developed. "I’ve already admitted I would have been happy with just one appearance this season. But I’ve played 24 matches, two of them being Champions League appearances as well as making my Old Firm debut so I really couldn’t have asked for any more."
The 18 year old was offered the biggest ever financial deal for a player in his age group at Ibrox, £12,000 a week, a considerable rise from £700 a year previously, upon signing a new contract at Rangers which had only one year left. The Ibrox club could have lost Wilson for around £500,000 in compensation if he would have been kept on until next year. Wilson wanted to move and Rangers reluctantly reached a deal with Liverpool with Spurs also interested.
LFChistory.net asked the opinion of Marc Boal, a Rangers fan, who is an Ibrox regular and benefits from having seen him in action on several occasions: "Danny Wilson has been a revelation this year. He will walk straight into the Liverpool squad. He is some player, you would think he is 30 years old the way he reads the game, and he's only a teenager. He is going to go a long way."
Danny Wilson moves south to England with his career still in its infancy. He does, however, recognise the challenge this move will bring with it. He said on signing for Liverpool "This is a massive challenge for me. This is one of the best leagues in the world and I will be playing for one of the biggest teams in the world. It wasn't a difficult decision to come here as Liverpool are not a team who come in for you every day, so I can't wait to get started. There were other clubs interested in me who are in the Champions League, but once Liverpool came in for me there was only one team I wanted to go to."
Wilson knows he faces a big task in trying to establish himself as a central defender at Anfield because so many other good players will be competing for the same spot in the team. But he is clearly not a man lacking in self-belief and that means he has a good chance of winning the new manager’s approval and figuring in Liverpool’s first-team sooner rather than later.