Liverpool fans may remember the 22-year-old from the January transfer window, when he was linked with the Anfield outfit, along with Arsenal and Spurs, by The Daily Mail. That was a consequence of Williams’ impressive form at the time, netting 13 goals across all competitions last season, and his incredibly modest £15.3million release clause.
Instead of moving to the Premier League, the one-cap Spain international signed a new contract at San Memes until 2021, raising his release clause £44.46million. But AS have unexpectedly put the Reds back in the frame to sign Williams – claiming the Merseysiders are ‘knocking on the door’ in an interview with the pacey attacker.
To directly quote the publication, they put the following question to Williams; “You signed a contract extension with Athletic last season with your retention fee set to 50 million euros, but Liverpool are back knocking at the door. How long will we keep seeing you at San Mamés?”
But the Bilbao star replied; “Like I said at the time. I’m happy at Athletic, it’s where I want to be. I am very grateful to the fans, the club and my team-mates. I want to continue here for many more years. I want to be Athletic’s furture No.9 – the player who raises the roof at San Mamés every week and scores lot of goals.”
Famed for his sheer athleticism (dubbed the fastest player in La Liga by The Mail) and ability to find the net, Williams seems like a natural fit for the Premier League – not to mention Jurgen Klopp’s high-pressing game. The 22-year-old has slightly struggled for form this season, bagging one goal and two assists in nine La Liga appearances, but he was fantastic last term and his overall development since becoming a Bilbao regular in 2014/15 has certainly been impressive.
Indeed, he’s already established himself as one of Bilbao’s first-choice wide-men, although seemingly seeing his future in a more central capacity, and picked up a debut cap for Spain in May after representing La Roja eight times at U21 level. Here’s a look at how Williams has fared in La Liga over the last three seasons, courtesy of Squawka, based on per-game metrics.