Liverpool have a situation with Neco Williams to deal with. The Welsh full-back reportedly sees his future elsewhere.
The Athletic claims Neco Williams wants to leave Liverpool and the Reds are dealing with the situation. It appears they’ll settle for around £10m in a sale.
At least four Premier League clubs appear to have an interest in Williams, too. The Athletic name Leeds United, Southampton, Aston Villa and Burnley in their report.
It’s a difficult one for Liverpool. Williams is currently their backup right-back and losing him creates a gap in the squad. They won’t fill it, apparently, and will instead lean into cover internally.
Joe Gomez could be second choice there, while Conor Bradley is one for the future. Between them, Liverpool can make up for Williams being gone.
Though neither solution is very good. Gomez, for one, isn’t a natural full-back and Liverpool lose a tonne of creativity with him there. Bradley has never played for the first-team before – who knows how long it’ll be until he’s ready?
But at the same time, Liverpool can’t do much. Williams sits behind Trent Alexander-Arnold in the pecking order and will likely never overtake him.
The Scouser is only two years older and is already the world’s best right-back. Williams simply won’t get the necessary game time to develop and he appears to know that.
We do think, however, that Liverpool can turn this one to their advantage.
How do Liverpool handle the Neco Williams situation?
Williams is undoubtedly a talented player. We’ve seen it in spurts for Liverpool and he’s had some very good games for Wales.
Usually, a 20-year-old with international, Premier League and Champions League experience would be considered a top prospect for any team. Just not when Alexander-Arnold is in his way.
Williams just doesn’t have quite enough proven quality to command over £10m, it seems. And that would be a big shame. He’s certainly worth more than that with regular football under his belt.
Liverpool can perhaps turn this situation around for them, though. As we saw a year ago with the Rhian Brewster deal, they’re happy to work with buy-back clauses.
Putting one in any deal for Williams could be ideal. They’d send him off on the cheap, making sure he gets all the development he needs. Then if he truly is an outstanding talent, the chance is there to bring him back.
It’s the only way we see a £10m fee being genuinely good value for Liverpool. Perhaps Williams makes himself a viable left-back – as he plays for Wales on occasion – or maybe Alexander-Arnold moves into midfield.
In either situation, Williams opens the door again at Anfield. Leaving with a buy-back clause is likely the only way he can do that.