Liverpool could be tempted into a move for Nico Williams in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by Goal España (via Sport Witness), who claim that, with the right-winger possessing a €50m (£43m) release clause in his current contract with Athletic Bilbao, coupled with the sensational form the 20-year-old has been in for both Bilbao and Spain in the current campaign, Jurgen Klopp could be tempted into activating this clause in January.
A further report by Italian media outlet CalcioMercatoWeb has also claimed that the Reds are tracking the attacker at the Qatar World Cup this winter, while Real Madrid, Juventus, Chelsea, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain are also thought to be keeping a close eye on the youngster ahead of potentially launching a move of their own in the January transfer window.
With Liverpool appearing to be undergoing a changing of the guard in their front three at present – as Sadio Mane has already left the club for Bayern Munich and Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino are turning 31 and 32 years of age respectively in 2023 – it is easy to see why Klopp would be interested in a move to bring Williams to Anfield in the January market.
Indeed, the £26m-rated talent has burst onto the European football scene over his 14 LaLiga fixtures this season, having already hit the back of the net three times, provided three assists and created two big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 1.7 shots – 0.8 of which have been on target – making 1.4 key passes and completing 1.4 dribbles per game.
These metrics have seen the attacker average an extremely eye-catching SofaScore match rating of 6.96, currently ranking him as Ernesto Valverde’s seventh-best performer in the top flight of Spanish football – a quite remarkable feat for a 20-year-old playing just his second season of senior football.
However, it has not only been for Bilbao that Williams has impressed in 2022/23, as the winger has also become a key part of Luis Enrique’s Spain squad over the last few months – earning himself a place in the 52-year-old’s squad for the Qatar World Cup.
Indeed, after providing the assist for La Roja’s 1-0 Nations League win over Portugal back in September, as well as scoring his first international goal in a 3-1 friendly victory over Jordan towards the start of November, Williams has now featured in both of his country’s World Cup fixtures so far this month – with the 20-year-old particularly impressing in the 7-0 win over Costa Rica.
Over his 21 minutes on the pitch, the £40k-per-week sensation completed 88% of his passes, was successful with two of his three attempted dribbles, won three of his five duels and made one tackle – with these metrics seeing the youngster earn a simply phenomenal SofaScore match rating of 7.0 – not bad for your debut in the biggest competition in world football.
As such, considering just how high the ceiling of the player who Jacek Kulig dubbed both “phenomenal” and “superb” looks to be, coupled with the fact that Liverpool have recently signed the likes of 23-year-old striker Darwin Núñez and 25-year-old left-winger Luis Díaz, the addition of Williams could well prove to form Klopp’s next Mane, Firmino and Salah-esque trio at Anfield.
Indeed, should the 20-year-old continue to star for Spain in Qatar this winter, it would not be surprising in the slightest to see Klopp activating the attacker’s £43m release clause in January, as Williams very much appears to be one of European football’s most exciting attacking prospects at present.