'Been superb': Pundit raves about Liverpool 18-year-old who Klopp deemed 'super'
Liverpool academy ace Neco Williams has been praised by Chris Kirkland on Love Sport Radio for his recent exploits in the Reds senior team.
The 18-year-old full-back has played every minute of Liverpool’s FA Cup campaign this season, which came to an end on Tuesday night with a fifth-round defeat at Chelsea.
Williams is yet to feature for Liverpool in the Premier League, though he has made the bench for Jurgen Klopp’s side on numerous occasions.
He has, however, has made five senior appearances this season, four in the FA Cup and one in the League Cup, as well as a further 20 in Under-23 competitions.
In his 24 appearances this season, Williams has claimed three goals and seven assists, according to Transfermarkt.
Former Liverpool keeper Kirkland defended Klopp’s decision to include players who don’t regularly feature in Liverpool’s first team for their game at Stamford Bridge and named Williams as one player who deserved his spot.
“Go back to the round before though, and he played the young lads,” Kirkland told Love Sport Radio. “More or less the Under-19s side.
“So I think, you know, you have to keep some of them in. Neco Williams at right-back who’s been superb, you know, he deserved to keep his spot in that because of the previous round so I think he had to mix it a little bit.
“Obviously playing at Stamford Bridge is a bit different to playing in front of your own fans at Anfield. No disrespect to Shrewsbury. So I know you have to mix it a bit but he was always going to make changes because he had to stand by some of the lads that played in the previous game, but you’re right, listen, I’m a big traditionalist.”
Kirkland isn’t the only individual to praise Williams for his exploits in the FA Cup – Klopp himself described his latest performance as “super”, as reported by the Liverpool website.
Williams has also been tipped for a place in the Wales squad for Euro 2020, with Stephen Warnock thinking the Dragons Under-19 ace should be considered for a spot in the team on BBC Sport.
Likewise, Wales manager Ryan Giggs has also praised the “fantastic” defender last month, as reported by BBC Sport.
Williams is somewhat unfortunate to have first-team competition in the shape of Trent Alexander-Arnold, arguably the greatest right-back in world football right now.
However, Klopp could perhaps decide to rotate his squad once the title is mathematically certain, and then we could see more of Williams in the coming months – for club and for country.
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