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“World-class” Rhys Williams can be key for Liverpool, on one condition

Liverpool were dealt another costly blow to their title-holding campaign after Fabinho was forced off the pitch against Midtjylland on Tuesday. Already standing in to replace Virgil van Dijk, the Brazilian has been ruled out with a hamstring problem, although the club could be looking at weeks as opposed to months (via David Maddock).

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But any length of time out will be huge loss to the Reds. Fabinho had been impressing alongside Joe Gomez in defence and looked to be a solid option to consider moving forwards. Now, it looks like Jurgen Klopp will be forced to put his faith in 19-year-old Rhys Williams, who replaced Fabinho in the Champions League fixture earlier this week.

Williams could be important for Liverpool

Until Joel Matip returns from injury, Williams will have a huge responsibility on his shoulders. This doesn’t look like it’s going to be a problem for the teenager though, who has already impressed fellow academy graduate Trent Alexander-Arnold.

“That position [centre-back] is probably a little bare at the minute to say the least but we’ve got an amazing squad,” the right-back said following Liverpool’s win over Midtjylland. “You’ve seen Rhys Williams stepping in and doing a world-class job.

“At such a young age with such little experience, unbelievable from him. He never really put a foot wrong.”

Indeed, the centre-half won 100% of his attempted duels and contributed one tackle and one interception. Williams also maintained an 86% passing rate, keeping the Reds’ defence sturdy in the absence of a more senior player (via Sofascore).

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Whilst it will be a huge boost for Klopp to know he can trust the 19-year-old to perform, it’s important that he plays more of a fringe role once Fabinho returns. Alexander-Arnold’s unique situation of usurping Nathaniel Clyne at such a young age will arguably never be recreated. Williams certainly has a future at Anfield, but these things cannot be rushed.

The young defender will learn a lot from Gomez and Fabinho, whilst making full appearances in cup competitions moving forwards. By shadowing the senior centre-backs in the team, he could be ready to lead a new era of youngsters in a couple of years’ time.

In other news, Liverpool handed major transfer boost amid potential David Alaba deal…

Article title: “World-class” Rhys Williams can be key for Liverpool, on one condition

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