Why Liverpool should tie Neco Williams down to a long-term deal
According to Goal (h/t Mirror), Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is set to reward Neco Williams with a brand new five-year deal at Anfield following an impressive debut campaign for the highly-rated academy starlet.
The 19-year-old only played a bit-part role for the Reds last term but he did enough to collect a Premier League winner’s medal during his breakthrough season at the senior level. As per the source, Williams’ new long-term deal will secure his future in Merseyside until at least 2025.
Born in Wrexham, Wales, Neco Williams joined Liverpool’s academy as a six-year-old kid and represented the Reds across various age-group levels, impressing in the FA Youth Cup and also in the UEFA Youth League.
The 19-year-old’s consistently impressive displays at the youth level paid off handsomely when he was handed his senior debut as a starter in a Carabao Cup win over Arsenal last season. Williams assisted Divock Origi’s last-minute equaliser that made it 5-5, with Liverpool emerging victorious in the shootout.
Back in January, Williams also featured in the FA Cup Merseyside derby win over Everton. He followed it up with another impressive performance in the round 4 replay against Shrewsbury Town.
The teenager had to wait for his Premier League debut until the restart following the Covid-19 hiatus, featuring as a second-half substitute in the 4-0 drubbing of Crystal Palace. He followed it up with league starts against Brighton, Burnley, and Newcastle towards the end of the season after Liverpool had already secured their first league title in 30 years.
The academy graduate finished the 2019-20 campaign with 11 first-team appearances across all competitions, with 8 of them coming as a starter.
New deal for Williams – A step in the right direction?
Liverpool haven’t neglected the development of their academy prospects despite boasting several world-class players in every department. The likes of Ki-Jana Hoever, Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones, Neco Williams, Sepp van den Berg, and several others have been afforded first-team minutes to varying degrees.
That’s a clear indication of the fact that the Reds are making a genuine attempt to promote talent from within their own set-up.
Williams has certainly made a name for himself as a key component of the next generation of talents to come through the youth ranks at Anfield following his impressive breakthrough season.
Essentially a right-back by trade, the 19-year-old has already showcased the versatility to play as a left-back as well, which is something that Klopp needs to keep an eye on.
Liverpool’s full-back duo of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson is perhaps the best on the planet. While both players still have plenty of years remaining in their prime, the Reds need to make sure that they preserve enough depth in their ranks to compete on multiple fronts. Keeping hold of Neco Williams will, therefore, make a lot of sense for a number of reasons.
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Liverpool recently tied academy starlets Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott down to new long-term deals before the end of the previous campaign and it’s easy to see why they should adopt a similar stance on the future of Neco Williams.
At 19, he still has plenty of room for improvement and Klopp will definitely be fancying his chances of transforming the Welsh starlet into a world-beater in the years to come.