Liverpool’s youngsters rose to the occasion last night by beating Shrewsbury Town in the FA Cup fourth round replay at Anfield.
The Reds, managed by U23s boss Neil Critchley, ran out 1-0 winners at Anfield to set up a fifth round tie against Chelsea in March.
Captained by Curtis Jones, Liverpool’s team was the youngest in their history at an average age of 19 years and 102 days, which is what made the result all the more impressive.
Jurgen Klopp had made the decision to keep his senior stars, and himself, away from the tie so as not to interrupt the winter break.
The manager did watch live from afar though, and had to have been impressed with quite a few of the youngsters on show.
One man who really caught the eye was right-back Neco Williams.
The 18-year-old Wales youth international produced a brilliant performance that might have seen him score a hat-trick on another night.
Williams was a constant threat marauding forwards, and it was his brilliant long pass that led to the Shrewsbury own goal.
His display was perhaps a suggestion he could become a worthy backup for Trent Alexander-Arnold next season.
TBR’s view – Williams could save Liverpool millions
It may ‘only’ have been Shrewsbury, but Williams’s performance really was top notch for one still so young.
He appears to be quite like Alexander-Arnold in the way that he bombs forward at every available opportunity, but he also showed a capacity to defend when Shrewsbury pushed for an equaliser.
There might have been a plan to dip into the transfer market this summer for a new right-back to challenge Alexander-Arnold, but Williams has shown with his three FA Cup appearances so far – and one Carabao Cup outing against Aston Villa – that he could potentially save the club millions and be the England international’s backup in 2020/21.