Rhys Williams can offer hope to several Liverpool players with a genuine first-team chance. He may just get it this weekend against West Ham United.
Fabinho’s injury leaves Liverpool in the lurch as he will reportedly miss ‘at least’ three games. The Reds now only have one senior centre-half – Joe Gomez. Virgil van Dijk is also injured, of course, while Joel Matip just can’t stay fit.
It all means Rhys Williams might get a first-team run. He came on for Fabinho against Midtjylland and played well enough, possibly earning him a Premier League start.
That would be quite a rise for the 19-year-old. Williams spent last year playing in the National League with Kidderminster Harriers, far below the Champions.
So him getting a proper chance would be quite remarkable. It would also offer serious hope to several young Liverpool players currently out on loan.
Loanees don’t usually come back with a senior future at Liverpool. There is only one player in the first-team squad who came through the Reds and had a loan spell somewhere, in fact.
That’s Nathaniel Phillips, who spent last season with Stuttgart. But he’s quite obviously behind Rhys Williams in the pecking order.
Williams, however, had a chance to buck the trend. Not only was he on loan somewhere else but he was far down the pyramid. If he can take his chance and earn a place, then virtually every other player out on loan can believe the same.
It may even encourage Liverpool to give these players more opportunities. It depends on Williams getting a chance this weekend, of course, but if he gets it, it could mean huge things for every player out on loan.
There are 12 in total right now. They’ll surely all be rooting for Williams.