The 23 year old and fellow centre-back Rob Kiernan yesterday became the first player recruits of the Mark Warburton managerial era at Ibrox.
In doing so, Wilson, who signed a three-year deal, has gone from captaining the Hearts team that reclaimed top-flight status by breezing to the Championship title, to the side that finished a distant third and could not escape the second tier.
Wilson, though, feels no need to justify his latest career move. “I’m not really fussed what anybody says,” he said. “If anybody feels that [I lack ambition], then that’s their opinion but I know how big this club is. Everybody knows how big this club is. Hopefully we’ll be back playing in the top flight next year. Then most people might realise why I did it. I’m not really fussed. Anybody can have an opinion. I believe I have made the right decision and I’m happy with it.”
The Scotland international, who left Ibrox for Liverpool in a £2 million deal five years ago, admitted he would not have remained in Scotland’s second tier for any club but the one with which he began his career. “Rangers are a massive club and I don’t particularly intend to play too many more seasons in the Championship so, hopefully, we get our work done this year and get us back up to where the club should be,” he said.
Wilson said he considered other options but changing “personal circumstances” that brought a desire to be close to family meant offers, believed to be from England and abroad, did not have the same appeal as remaining in Scotland. “I’ve had almost two months since the season finished and my thought process has changed,” he said. “I’m glad to get this deal done and now I can look forward to next season.”
The defender revealed he could have staged a return to Ibrox before now. “I quite fancied going back,” Wilson said. “Previously there have been opportunities, but I just didn’t think it was the right time. Timing is everything in football. Now there is more of an optimism, more of a forward -thinking approach and it’s something I want to be a part of. There were bits and pieces when I was at Liverpool and stuff, but nothing really materialised. Maybe it worked out for the best being that way. I’m here now and hopefully I can make a difference next year.”
Wilson would not be drawn on the reported interest from Celtic. This is understood to have amounted to no more than his name being on a long list of alternatives in the event of Ronny Deila not landing one of his chief central-defensive targets, which the Norwegian did with the acquisition of Dedryck Boyata three weeks ago.
“I don’t really want to talk about specific clubs. I’m here now,” he said. “Whatever interest there was, that has since ended. I’m here and I’m ready to get going.”