Neco Williams appears to be leaving Liverpool after sitting out the Reds’ first two pre-season friendlies. The Welshman was fit to play.
It seems pretty clear that Neco Williams is leaving Liverpool this summer. Reports have said as much for months now but Tuesday appeared to confirm things.
The Athletic reported last month that Williams wanted out. He doesn’t see a first-team future at Liverpool, given Trent Alexander-Arnold is only slightly older and ahead of him the pecking order.
The Reds will oblige him a move, too, but would want around £10m for him.
Well, if there was any doubt about the truth in all that, Tuesday’s friendlies truly backed it all up. Williams didn’t take part, despite being fit enough for the bench.
Both he and compatriot Harry Wilson were named as substitutes but never played. Liverpool did hand minutes to young right-back Conor Bradley, though – presumably Williams’ replacement.
Neco Williams leaving Liverpool
We do understand Williams’ thinking here, as we outlined in this piece. He’s a very talented young full-back but one who isn’t getting the necessary development time.
The 20-year-old needs regular football at a decent level in order to progress properly. He’s never getting that behind Alexander-Arnold, though, as the Scouser is the best in the world.
Williams can’t exactly wait for Alexander-Arnold to fade, either, given they’re roughly the same age. It’s a difficult situation for him.
Liverpool won’t want to risk injuries or anything, hence leaving Williams on the bench. We imagine the next few weeks will see offers come in if they haven’t already.
It appears we may have seen the last of Williams playing for Liverpool, then.
Williams will likely get a decent Premier League move, we imagine. That should see him get opportunities at a decent rate and progress properly.
As for Liverpool, it’s fairly clear that Bradley is their future backup right-back. He got the nod as one of two right-backs in these two pre-season friendlies, the other being Alexander-Arnold.
And that should continue over the next few weeks. Liverpool will want Bradley to be as comfortable as possible among the first-teamers, with a view to some games next season.
We’ll have to see how long it is before he runs into the same problem as Williams, however. Bradley is still only 17 but he’ll want regular football in two or three years.
Alexander-Arnold won’t even be 26 by then. It’s not going to be easy for Bradley unless one of them develops a new position. Williams ran into that problem and truthfully, everyone will as long as Alexander-Arnold is there.