“So Brutal For Him” – Reporter On ‘Exceptional’ Liverpool Youngster Who Could Make Early Comeback

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Liverpool Football Club has had it’s fair share of heroes, unlikely and otherwise down the years and Rhys Williams’ exploits at the back end of 2020/21 alongside put the central defender in and amongst the conversation for unlikely heroes. 

Despite struggling to hold down a place in Jurgen Klopp’s plans since the 22-year-old remains under contract at Anfield until 2026 and continues to strive for the experience that could lead to either a role with The Reds or a big move elsewhere. 

In search of that experience, Williams joined Aberdeen on a season-long loan earlier this year, following in the footsteps of Leighton Clarkson in the process. 

However, having failed to make a senior appearance so far this term north of the border and reports have claimed Liverpool could recall their central defender in January. Interesting timing perhaps with Joel Matip ruled out for the remainder of the season.

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To find out why Williams has been so underused at Aberdeen, Dan spoke to Aberdeen Live reporter Ruaraidh Britton

On the deal: “There was a lot of hope and excitement (from fans). The thing is with Rhys Williams coming, because Aberdeen got third last season they were guaranteed European football or some sort, so that saw the club go ‘We need some backup, we need some depth’ and they went a bit mad with the defence.

“Suddenly we’ve got Slobodan Rubezic coming in, Stefan Gartenmann, Richard Jensen and Rhys Williams, there was a lot of excitement about Williams in particular because of what he’d been doing at Liverpool and it’s just not come anywhere near the sort of fruition that we’d hoped for, that we’d expected for a guy.”

On his lack of appearances: “He’s been really really unfortunate, the one game he’s had was a 5-3 defeat to Peterhead with the B team. In Helsinki recently, at this stage Aberdeen can’t qualify, Barry Robson is promising changes, a whole new side and he’s still not getting a start.

“There’s Eintracht Frankfurt this week and again there’s nothing that can be gained, so there’s potential for more changes and yet Jack Milne one of the academy lads has stepped into the team recently and he’s getting ahead of Williams. People are just wondering what on earth Rhys is having to do to get a game. For Rhys it’s just been nothing, they tried with him in the Peterhead game, and they tried in pre-season but he’s just not been able to get in at all and it feels a shame for him.”

On what’s been said: “He’s a really tight-lipped manager, it’s mostly just been positive praise, ‘good kid, training hard, working hard’ so it’s all what you want to hear so we’ve just had no ‘look he’s not getting in because *insert reason here*’ but when that’s all you’re hearing it makes you wonder if he’s viewed as just not being good enough or is there something missing from him that’s wanted but it just feels so brutal for him.”

On what happens next: “Because of the summer Aberdeen had I think it’s been a big learning curve, some have really stood out, getting Clarkson tied down was big and although he hasn’t quite hit the heights he’s started so impress again. The easy option with Rhys would be to say ‘Sorry it didn’t work out but we will send you back to Liverpool’.

“I know he went on loan to Blackpool and he was getting games there so for his sake I’d maybe hope that a Championship club could pick him up and get some confidence and minutes in him. But for Aberdeen, although they could shoot themselves in the foot if they get injuries, there’s a bit of trimming needed in the squad.”

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A shame is correct. Williams – who was described by Klopp as ‘exceptional’ following his Champions League display against Atalanta – may never have ousted the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Ibrahima Konate, Joe Gomez or Matip at Anfield, however, a role similar to that or Jarell Quansah did seem eminently possible once upon a time. 

Now though, with half a season of development lost it’s pivotal the centre-back does indeed return to Merseyside and seek regular action elsewhere for the second half of the campaign. 

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