Liverpool may have been eliminated from the Carabao Cup but there were still a number of aspects from the performance to be positive about.

One of the standout players on the night was 19-year-old Rhys Williams. The teenager was totally imperious in only his second Liverpool appearance following his debut against Lincoln City last week.

Liverpool v Arsenal - Carabao Cup Fourth Round

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 01: Bukayo Saka of Arsenal is challenged by Rhys Williams of Liverpool during the Carabao Cup fourth round match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on October 01, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Football Stadiums around United Kingdom remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Peter Byrne – Pool/Getty Images)

It was quite the leap of faith the throw Williams in the deep end against Arsenal who are respectively quite a step-up to the League One outfit he encountered seven days ago.

However, it proved to be another managerial masterstroke from Klopp as Williams was outstanding from start-to-finish in defence having partnered both Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.

Even alongside the best defender in world football, Williams stood out. He certainly didn’t look out of place following a defensive display that saw him utterly dominate in the air while in possession he cut an ice-cool figure also.

Subscribe to Rousing The Kop TV now

He was quick and alert to cover when he had to and he was always perfectly placed to clear away danger. His standout moment of the game occurred towards the end when Williams produced a perfectly timed tackle to thwart Bukayo Saka.

Liverpool v Arsenal - Carabao Cup Fourth Round

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 01: Neco Willaims and Rhys Williams of Liverpool surround Eddie Nketiah of Arsenal during the Carabao Cup Fourth Round match between Liverpool and Arsenal at Anfield on October 1, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Football Stadiums around United Kingdom remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Right to the final whistle, Williams competed, blocking numerous shots and constantly heading away danger to protect Liverpool’s clean sheet.

This game was a much tougher test to his inaugural senior bout at Sincil Bank last week and despite playing against one of the in-form teams in the Premier League, Williams rose to the challenge and snatched his opportunity with confidence.

Williams made four clearences, two interceptions and won six of his defensive aerial duels – more than any other player for either Liverpool or Arsenal.

His ability to see danger and react to it quickly helped limit Arsenal to few chances. Liverpool may have had a vastly inexperienced defender in their starting XI but the quality showed and it is testament to the incredible development plan that is overseen at the club’s academy set-up at Kirkby.

Williams certainly demonstrated that he is an exciting prospect for supporters to keep close tabs on for the future.

That spell playing in National League North with Kidderminster Harriers last season has done wonders for his development.

Fan reaction

There was a big positive reaction to Williams’ performance with a number of calls that the teenage defender looks a ready-made long-term replacement for Van Dijk.

Here is a look at what fans had to say on social media…

 

Have something to tell us about this article?