What exactly does the future look like for Rhys Williams? Liverpool have to answer that question over the next few weeks.
Liverpool are running out of time to sort out Rhys Williams’ future. The 20-year-old remains at the club but his place doesn’t necessarily exist.
Williams currently sits behind Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip, Joe Gomez, Ibrahima Konate and Nat Phillips in the pecking order. Sixth-choice doesn’t exactly promise many games.
And while he may look at last season and see how it’s possible, sticking around for this campaign doesn’t seem ideal. Not at this stage in his career.
Williams would benefit greatly from more regular football, especially as he looks to build on the enormous strides of last season. In fact, we’re surprised no one has come in for him.
He went from a little-known Under 23 player without much of a future to someone who played regularly in the Premier League. Williams ended up with 19 total games last season – nine in the league and another six in the Champions League.
But the youngster didn’t just play. He kept clean sheets alongside the similarly-inexperienced Nat Phillips as Liverpool finished third. We literally would have considered that impossible a year ago.
The 20-year-old even had Jurgen Klopp calling him a ‘natural talker’ at the back who can organise a defence. That’s quite incredible, given the level he stepped up to.
Williams proved to everyone that he’s a player with talent and potential. Now’s the time to capitalise on that and keeping him around to play Under 23 football seems counter-productive.
Liverpool effectively have three weeks to find him a short-term future, surely on loan. A decent club that can give Williams regular minutes in order to build on what he learned last year.
They’re up against the clock now, though. Many leagues have already kicked off, robbing Williams of an integration period in pre-season.
But Williams needs another year of growth, not stagnation. Liverpool can’t undo all the good work last season.