There is much for Jurgen Klopp to ponder in the week ahead, with league leaders Leicester City visiting Anfield on Sunday evening.
The Liverpool squad has been ravaged by injuries, and the Reds’ boss will have to send out an unfamiliar line up for the top-of-the-table clash this weekend.
One of many issues which needs resolving is who will replace Trent Alexander-Arnold. Liverpool’s first-choice right-back had to be substituted through injury against Manchester City, and won’t be available in the short term.
James Milner filled in at the Etihad Stadium and may do so again for the match with Leicester. The veteran has provided three assists in his nine starts while playing there for the Reds in the past (per Transfermarkt). He could perhaps make up some of the creativity deficit which Trent’s absence inevitably forces upon the team.
However, Neco Williams is a right-back by trade so might get the nod from Klopp. His recent performances for Wales have done his chances no harm at all.
It’s just as well, as the 19-year-old has made more appearances for his country than for his club in 2020/21, which probably says plenty about the relative merits of international football when compared with the top end of the Premier League.
But he’s certainly making the most of his opportunities with Wales. Williams played the full match in their 1-0 win over Republic of Ireland on Sunday, and was deemed to be his side’s star man in the post-match player ratings on Wales Online.
He made positive contributions at both ends of the pitch, ensuring his man of the match nod was well deserved. Perhaps most crucial was his interception in the six yard box when Ireland looked set to open the scoring in the first half.
Williams was also involved in the build up to the only goal of the game, and he created a chance for Gareth Bale (which ended up being the only on target effort the Spurs star managed all night).
Chris Mepham was the only player from either side who had more touches, and Williams topped the match rankings for dribbling past players and intercepting passes (via WhoScored).
He was perhaps fortunate to get away with a late handball claim – one which would surely have been penalised in the Premier League – but it was a brilliant all-round performance.
Nonetheless, if Williams were to be selected for the visit of Leicester, it would unquestionably be the biggest game of his fledgling Liverpool career. His three league starts for the club all occurred after the league title had been secured last season, and his eight-minute cameo at Atalanta recently is the sum total of his European experience.
In fact, that late substitute appearance in the Champions League is Williams’ only game time in either of the two main competitions this season, though he did start the Community Shield and both Carabao Cup ties.
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It would be a significant show of faith from Klopp if he were to select Williams, especially as he was targeted online by moronic so-called supporters following some mistakes he made.
The Liverpool manager may feel that Milner is a safer choice for the Leicester match, particularly as the rest of the defence is likely to be much changed following the latest injuries which have been sustained at the club.
But Williams has been in excellent form for Wales and would be worthy of his inclusion on Sunday if that is what the Liverpool manager opts to do.