Why a new deal for Neco Williams is the right decision by Liverpool
According to Football Insider (h/t The Express), Liverpool are keen to reward youngster Neco Williams with a new contract for his impressive rise to prominence.
The report suggests that Jurgen Klopp has been impressed by Williams and wants to tie down the youngster to a long-term contract that reflects the teenager’s promising start to life in the first-team.
Williams, 18, joined Liverpool’s academy at the age of six and rose through the ranks, representing the club at the U18, U19 and U23 level as well as in the UEFA Youth League. Though he suffered a serious back injury that kept him out of action for the majority of the 2017/18 season, he made a remarkable return and earned his debut for the senior team this term against Arsenal in the EFL Cup.
He was impressive in the 5-5 draw against the Gunners and contributed with an assist for Liverpool’s 5th goal. The Reds eventually went on to win the game on penalties.
The youngster was also impressive in the FA Cup games against Everton and twice against Shrewsbury, completing the full 90 in each of the games. In 22 games this campaign, Williams has scored 3 goals and racked up 6 assists.
He grasped the senior team opportunities with both hands in the midst of Liverpool’s tight schedule and has put in strong displays. Therefore, the club rewarding him with a significant pay rise in his new contract, as per the report, is a great move.
Meanwhile, Liverpool have dominated the league this term and are 22 points ahead of second-placed Manchester City.
One area that needs to be strengthened, however, is the right-back position. Trent-Alexander Arnold has been at his best but in the Englishman’s absence, James Milner and Joe Gomez have been deployed in the unfamiliar role.
Neco Williams is a natural right-back and he should be the understudy to Alexander-Arnold. Milner has been playing in several positions while Gomez has been covering the absence of Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren in the heart of the defence.
The Welsh U19 international would be the like-for-like back-up for the first-choice.
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Though Williams is just 18, he has been at his best for the youth squads and has also shown promises with the first-team. Going forward, he must be guided in the right direction and tying him to fresh terms is a great move.