‘It makes absolute sense that Neco is here developing every day’: Jurgen Klopp hints at a new role for Liverpool star Williams as he waves away talk of a January loan after being impressed by his Wales performances
- Neco Williams featured in both of Wales’ recent international break outings
- The defender scored in a 5-1 win over Belarus, then held Belgium to a 1-1 draw
- But Williams has only managed one appearance for Liverpool this season
- However, Klopp wants him to remain on Merseyside rather than go on loan
Neco Williams might not be seeing much game-time right now but Jurgen Klopp has big plans for the youngster, especially after watching him star for Wales.
While Klopp has only granted Williams a single EFL Cup start this season, Dragons stand-in coach Rob Page has put his faith in the 20-year-old, who played 90 minutes against Belarus and Belgium this international break.
Williams scored from left back in a 5-1 thumping of Belarus, before digging in at left wing back to hold Roberto Martinez’s world No 1s to a 1-1 draw.
Neco Williams impressed his Wales manager Rob Page following the World Cup qualifiers
Williams starred against Belarus and Belgium as Wales grabbed a World Cup play-off spot
With 17 international caps already, Wales have been crucial to Williams’ development but Page hinted he wants more opportunities for him domestically. Klopp sympathises, but won’t follow the advice.
‘We are really short of players. The last thing I’m thinking about is who could go on loan in the winter,’ the Reds boss said.
‘In Neco’s case, I can 100 percent understand that my colleague from Wales [Page] said he thinks it would make sense that they play.
‘But they are nearly qualified or can qualify for the World Cup with a lot of players who are not first choice in their teams.
Wales boss Page has been starting the youngster at left back and wants to see him go on loan
Jurgen Klopp has insisted he’d prefer to oversee the defender’s development from Merseyside
‘So I think it makes absolute sense that Neco is here developing every day, and that’s what he’s doing.’
For all-but two of Williams’ matches in a Liverpool shirt he’s started on the right of defence, but for Wales he’s switched flanks.
The 20-year-old academy graduate has a tough task to break into the first-team, with Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold to fight with at full back. Klopp is still deciding how he wants to mould Williams.
‘Neco’s a young player, and he plays at Liverpool, which is a pretty good football team. It’s not that easy to get in the first team – maybe in his natural position,’ the German coach added.
Williams has to fight one of Klopp’s all-stars, Trent Alexander-Arnold, for minutes at Anfield
‘I’m not sure if right back really is [his] natural position, but if it is there’s Trent Alexander-Arnold.
‘But Neco, I saw images of his performances [for Wales] and he did really well, especially offensively, big chance against Belgium in the last minute or so.
‘It’s all about pushing. That’s what he’s doing, so he’s not doing anything wrong. Then it’s about opportunity coming up.’
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