New Everton signing keen to learn from one of the world's best at Goodison
By Dominic Toner
Ashley Williams has revealed that he plans to learn a lot under new manager Ronald Koeman, following his transfer from Swansea.
The pair both moved to Goodison Park this summer and Everton manager Koeman is widely regarded as one of the greatest defenders of all time.
Koeman built a solid backline at his previous club Southampton and has recruited Wales international Williams to help solve Everton’s recent struggles in defence and shore up a back-line missing John Stones after his mega-money move to Manchester City.
Williams, 32, has become a solid and reliable Premier League defender with Swansea but believes that he can still learn plenty under Koeman.
“There is not one thing specifically but I am enjoying playing underneath him,” Williams told The Mail. “As I said when I moved he is one of the best centre halves who ever played.
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“I am going to be a sponge to learn off him and try to take in as much as I can of his knowledge. I could say more later on in the season but right now I am trying to settle in and find my way into that system. I’ve had two 90 minutes and training is pretty intense up there as well so I feel fine and ready.”
Williams replaced Stones at Everton after he joined Manchester City for a club-record fee of £47.5million, becoming the world’s second most expensive defender ever behind David Luiz.
The centre-back pairing of Williams and Phil Jagielka has the potential to become a dependable backline, with new goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg already adjusting well following his summer arrival.
The Welsh captain Williams helped his nation to an unlikely semi-final at Euro 2016 where they bowed out to eventual winners Portugal.
Williams is expected to start for his country as Wales begin their World Cup qualifying campaign against group opponents Moldova on Monday night.
In other Everton team news, their international player has missed a qualifier as he prepares to undergo surgery.