Last season we saw some impressive youngsters begin to breakthrough from the academy. Just a couple of years after Trent Alexander-Arnold burst onto the scene we are now seeing Curtis Jones and Neco Williams show us what they can do. Despite being thoroughly impressive for the most part since emerging from the academy, our Welsh full back came in for criticism after last week’s tie with Lincoln. Pep Lijnders has heaped praise on Neco Williams in answer to the youngster’s critics.

Pep Lijnders has heaped praise on Neco Williams in answer to his critics.

Pep Lijnders has heaped praise on Neco Williams in answer to his critics. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Neco Williams at Liverpool

Neco Williams made his first team debut in an EFL Cup tie with Arsenal last October.

The Welshman has since racked up 13 first team appearances, collecting a Premier League winner’s medal following a string of starts towards the end of the last term.

Williams was deployed as a left back at the back end of last season but is naturally a right sided defender, converted from a right winger during his time in the academy.

Lijnders praise for Williams

Ahead of the Reds EFL Cup tie with Arsenal, Pep Lijnders took the club’s press conference. The Dutchman was asked for his thoughts on how our young full back handled criticism of his performance against Lincoln City. Pep Lijnders praised Neco Williams:

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“First of all, and this is the most important thing to understand, Neco is a doer. A doer makes mistakes. We don’t want safe play, we don’t want a player who doesn’t take risks.

“Our game is based on everybody taking initiative from each position, and that’s what we want. But one of the most important lessons for each young boy coming through, or each player, is that it’s a weakness if you can get caught up in praise and criticism.

“So I think he dealt with it really well, to be honest.”

What RTK has to say

We could listen to Pep Lijnders talk all day long.

The Dutchman’s enthusiasm and passion always shines through, making him an exciting watch for any Kopite.

Lijnders’ praise of Neco Williams comes as no surprise. The Welshman has shown a remarkable character since breaking into the first team. He is always trying to beat his man, unafraid to take risks in the senior game – an impressive characteristic.

We fully believe he’ll come back stronger than ever.

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