Yasser Larouci is leaving Liverpool this summer, according to numerous reports. It clears the path for Neco Williams to be the Reds’ backup left-back.
That level of football will be difficult to find at Anfield, of course. The Reds are champions and only have so many places available. Although, Larouci did play ‘senior’ football a few times this campaign.
The Algerian played two FA Cup games at left-back – albeit in young teams. Still, he played up against senior players in those matches, as well as in pre-season when he featured on Liverpool’s tour.
But it now seems that those appearances are the extent of his first-team career with Liverpool. Instead, he’ll move on and try to find his way elsewhere.
All-in on Williams
So what does this news mean for Liverpool? Well, Larouci leaving will cement Williams’ place as a first-team option.
It looks increasingly unlikely that any signings will come in this summer. We certainly don’t expect to see money spent on backup players and yet there is a gap in the squad.
Andy Robertson remains the only recognised left-back in the first-team squad. James Milner can deputise there, of course, but he’s principally a midfielder.
And thus there’s a minor need for someone to rotate with Robertson on occasion. That player was always likely to come from within, particularly with talented players in the academy.
Now, it has looked for a little while now like Williams would take that role on, despite being a right-back. He’s played there on two occasions now and looks set for a first-team role. You can read our thoughts on that here.
His main competition for that spot, however, would have been Larouci. He’s more experienced in that role and has featured in senior games there, after all.
But now he’s set to leave. That suggests that Liverpool are happy to go ‘all-in’ on Williams – as much as you can go all-in on a backup player, of course.
The Welshman can play both right-back and left-back, then. If Williams can cover both, then he’s set for a fairly prominent role next season – and that appears to be the plan.