ASTON Villa new boy Rory Wilson has been branded “one of the best strikers at his age in Europe” after completing a £350,000 transfer from Rangers.

Wilson moved from Ibrox to Villa Park last week after the Birmingham and Glasgow clubs decided on a fee to avoid going to a FIFA tribunal.

Villa were confident they were only due cross-border compensation for the 16-year-old, who was on amateur forms and was signing his first professional contract, but agreed to pay £350,000 plus add-ons.

The 6ft tall youngster is the first Rangers player who former manager Steven Gerrard has moved for since departing Scotland for the Midlands back in November.

The Scot, who had also attracted interest from Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United and Spurs, was promoted to the Ibrox B squad at 15 and featured in the UEFA Youth League.  

Brian Mclaughlin, the SFA Performance School manager and Scotland Under-17 coach, believes Wilson has vast potential after being impressed by his progress this term.

The Girvan-born player scored 49 goals at all levels in the 2021/22 season and netted seven times in as many matches for the under-17 team in games against Northern Ireland, Albania, the Czech Republic, Georgia and Denmark.

Scotland have a dearth of prolific goalscorers at the moment – but former Celtic striker McLaughlin thinks there is nobody in Wilson’s age-group in the continent as good as him just now.

“Rory came in aged 12,” he said. “You could see the signs and he took things in working alongside James Grady (Scotland Under-16 coach).

“First year he was a very slow burner, second year a little bit better, third year he started doing his habits. I think he is potentially one of the best strikers at his age in Europe.

“I took him on the 17s campaign there, but he can go again next year. I don’t think anyone realised how young that team was.”