Detailed data vs Milan suggests Neco Williams is becoming quite special


Detailed data vs Milan suggests Neco Williams is becoming quite special

Neco Williams shone for Liverpool vs AC Milan on Tuesday evening. More detailed data suggests he’s actually becoming quite special, however.

Liverpool went to San Siro with a second-string team and won 2-1. It’s an incredibly impressive feat, given the Reds didn’t actually have anything to play for. Their opponents, though, were at full-strength and desperately needed a win.

So to beat the Serie A leaders at home like that deserves applause and every Red played well. Some were particularly standout, though, one of which was Neco Williams.

The 20-year-old played right-back here before moving to right-wing late on. We actually praised Williams for his display after the game but we’re not sure the data we used told the whole story.

Williams won tackles and created some chances, as we mentioned. But more detailed data shows off just how good the Welshman was – and he looks pretty special.

Neco Williams does it all for Liverpool vs Milan

No one had more of the ball for Liverpool than Williams. He was a constant and willing option, consistently helping the team up the pitch.

You can see that in several stats. He received five ‘progressive passes’, for instance. Those are passes that go 10 yards higher up the pitch than any of the last six passes. Williams, then, was a wonderful outlet on the right flank when the team needed to move forward.

The 20-year-old also played these passes. He made five of them and only Kostas Tsimikas (7) and Alessio Romagnoli (6) completed more in the game.

Williams was a willing runner with the ball, too. No one on the pitch carried the ball more often (54) and the fact that Milan only dispossessed him twice despite that is quite remarkable. He made six progressive carries (moving at least five yards forward with the ball) which was the third most on either side.

Importantly, this all translated into shots. Williams finished with five ‘shot-creating actions’, where a teammate or Williams himself got a shot off after the Welshman performed an action.

This was again a game-high – Milan only managed 15 such actions as a team.

As for his defending, Williams led Liverpool in pressing. He applied pressure 25 times in the game, with no other Red managing more than 19. This wasn’t a case of the full-back running out aimlessly, either – his success rate was a very healthy 32%.

A special talent

Williams is currently playing the best football of his career. He’s shining for Liverpool and Wales, where he’s catching the eye as a left-wingback.

Photo by Sportinfoto/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

So that’s three positions and an incredibly well-rounded game. Williams is looking great with and without the ball and making things happen for his teams.

The fact he’s also doing this in games against top opponents is incredibly impressive. Liverpool appear to have something special here, then. A versatile 20-year-old with a quality all-around game is a very rare thing.

Thank God they didn’t get that £10m in the summer.

All stats per FBref.

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