Jurgen Klopp admits he isn’t entirely sure what natural position Neco Williams plays. The 20-year-old earned plenty of plaudits over the international break.
Neco Williams certainly caught the eye for Wales over the last two weeks. He scored in a 5-1 win over Belarus but it was his performance against Belgium that really got people talking.
In fact, football fans watching the game came away thinking Liverpool had a pretty special player. ‘Gareth Bale vibes’ was one take – and it wasn’t uncommon.
Williams showed a great ability to get forward with the ball and nearly won the game for Wales at the death. Not bad for a presumed right-back playing at left-wingback.
But is Williams a right-back? We recently wrote how that’s his biggest problem at Liverpool, given the world’s best right-back is ahead of him in the pecking order.
But Jurgen Klopp is open to the idea of Williams playing a different role.
Jurgen Klopp on Neco Williams’ position
“It’s not easy to get in the first-team on his ‘maybe’ natural position,” said Klopp, per Football Daily. “I’m not sure if right-back is really his natural position.”
It is easy to wonder if Williams should play somewhere else. His problems in the first-team have always been defensive, for instance, while the 20-year-old often impresses going forward.
But how could it work? He’s not getting ahead of Mohamed Salah on the wing anytime soon and Liverpool don’t use traditional wingbacks. Even if they did, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson would take those roles.
Midfield is quite crowded, too, but that honestly might be Williams’ best bet here. The Reds have slightly changed how they use their midfielders, pushing them forward and wide more often.
Perhaps that’s the role for Williams, then. He’d have a little less defensive responsibility and a license to bomb forward with the ball, drifting wide and getting it into the box.
We’d like to see it, certainly. While his chances of overtaking Alexander-Arnold are slim, that doesn’t necessarily have to be Williams’ only route to the first team.