Harry Wilson is a man fully versed in the many challenges that life in the Championship throws up, with the Wales international finding out the hard way that escaping the second tier of English football is much easier said than done.
He has taken in a couple of shots at trying to secure promotion with ambitious outfits taking aim at the Premier League Promised Land, but he has never been able to cross that line.
That may be about to change, with Wilson’s current employers surging clear of the chasing pack in a bid to savour title-winning glory in 2022. Fulham are, having established much-needed consistency, 1/40 in odds on the English Football League Championship to finish the current campaign with a shiny trophy to add to the cabinet at Craven Cottage.
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) January 12, 2022
They have proved far too strong for many an opponent and Championship tips will not look far beyond them as another enthralling season starts to edge towards a finishing post.
Wilson has certainly played his part in helping the Cottagers to offer the perfect response to dropping out of the top tier in 2021, with changes on and off the field in west London ensuring that nobody felt down in the dumps for long.
In committing to a five-year contract when signing for Fulham, a Wrexham-born winger was taking a calculated risk at an important crossroad in his career. A breakthrough was not forthcoming at Liverpool, so wings needed to be spread in order to gain greater recognition.
A wise move
Wilson could, having previously spent a season in the top tier on loan at Bournemouth, have waited for an offer to arrive from a team preparing to spend 2021-22 paying visits to the likes of Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge.
He was, however, to favour trips to Oakwell and St Andrew’s and appears to have made a shrewd call in pursuit of an ultimate end goal.
It would take a collapse of monumental proportions for Fulham to not only slip from the Championship summit this season, but to tumble out of the automatic promotion spots entirely. They have one foot in the Premier League and require one final push in order to take the last step.
Wilson will be more determined than most to finish the job after learning in the past how painful it can be to come up short.
He helped Derby County, under the guidance of Frank Lampard at the time, to a play-off final in 2018-19, only to come unstuck at Wembley against Aston Villa. Two years later he had returned to his Welsh roots when linking up with Cardiff City, but could only help them to an eighth-place finish as another play-off ticket fell agonisingly out of reach.
Righting those wrongs will have been in Wilson’s thoughts when he took the decision to leave Anfield on a permanent basis last summer and return to the Championship for another shot at cracking a promotion code.
It looks like being a case of third time lucky, with a scenic route allowing Wilson to end up at the destination he had been planning to reach all along.