Liverpool have one of the most successful academies in the country, constantly churning out some of the game’s finest talents. From Ballon d’Or winner Michael Owen to midfield great Steven Gerrard, the academy has provided us with some of our best players. The current crop of youngsters are beginning to push into the first team but there is one issue: we have too many excellent young full backs. Jürgen Klopp may be forced to make a full back switch position or he risks wasting Neco Williams.
Too much of a good thing
At the minute the Reds have the two best wing backs in world football: Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold. Liverpool also have one of the most exciting full back prospects in England in Neco Williams.
For the past two seasons Robbo and Trent have redefined the full back position, operating as line breaking playmakers, picking up an embarrassment of assists and bamboozling defences with their passing range.
Andy Robbo is 26-years-old and Trent is 21-years-old, they aren’t going anywhere any time soon and that is bad news for the emerging 19-year-old talent Neco Williams.
A future first teamer
Neco Williams has made a string of appearances in the cups this season and has started three games in the Premier League since the restart.
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In these sporadic appearances the youngster has been incredibly impressive although he is still undoubtedly a raw talent lacking in first team experience, often caught out of position or making the wrong decision.
Despite his inevitable yet few flaws the youngster has been incredibly promising when given the chance, he is sure to be a first team player in the Premier League some day. The question is: where?
In the last year there has been a chorus of commentators and fans alike clamoring for Trent Alexander-Arnold to move into centre midfield.
The Scouser’s passing ability and vision has been a driving force behind the Reds’ creativity and he came through the academy as a midfielder – moving him into the middle would make sense on paper.
However, there are also plenty of fans and commentators against the idea, presenting the simple argument of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’.
Williams on the wing?
Neco Williams came through the academy as a winger before being converted to full back in the last couple of years.
The Welshman’s history further up the pitch is immediately evident when watching him play, he is comfortable with the ball at his feet and can beat a man with ease, often twisting and turning his way out of trouble.
Given that Trent has another decade plus left in his career, if the Scouser doesn’t move from right back (we can also assume that Robbo won’t be moved further up or infield) then Neco may need to adjust.
Jürgen Klopp will be well aware of the talent he has on his hands with Neco Williams and will also be aware that he will need to accommodate him or waste his talent.
Only time will tell, will the German push Trent into the middle or will he encourage Neco to revisit his days up top?