Liverpool have put a lot of faith in 19-year-old Rhys Williams in recent weeks. He has proven his selection is no longer considered a risk.
It’s a huge vindication of trust from Jurgen Klopp. Williams currently finds himself as Liverpool’s No.2 centre-half – he was playing in National League North last season.
Joel Matip is out for ‘many weeks’ according to Klopp (Goal). Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez both have long-term injuries, making Fabinho Klopp’s only other senior option.
Fortunately, pairing the Brazilian with Williams is no longer a risk.
After-all, the duo played alongside eachother in Liverpool’s 2-1 victory against Tottenham Hotspur – one of the team’s most complete performances of the season.
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On top of that, Williams has featured in every Champions League fixture for Liverpool. His experience this season makes him a first-team regular.
For instance, Williams has played as many games (10) this season as Joel Matip.
No longer a gamble
Williams delivered in them too. He was fantastic against Ajax and Tottenham, as a result. The England under-21 international took little time to showcase he has the maturity and mentality to step-up when called upon.
At the very least, he has proven he can do a job in the absence of key personnel.
This makes the notion of additions in January all the more unlikely. Klopp wouldn’t invest so much time in the development of Williams only to replace him in the coming weeks.
After all, the more he plays the more confident he will become. This will make the process of selecting Williams all the easier to Klopp.
Game-time is everything to young players at this stage of their development. Yes, he may be young. Yes, he may be inexperienced – but he has stepped up for Liverpool in the past.
With that said, Williams should continue to warrant Klopp’s trust. He has proven that buying in January isn’t necessarily the best cause of action.
Let’s hope he can continue to improve his first-team credentials against Newcastle United tonight.