Pundit Exclusive: Liverpool teen may make PL debut v West Ham after big Klopp statement
Starting Saturday’s clash with West Ham would be a “good test” for young Liverpool defender Rhys Williams, according to Michael Brown.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Tottenham and Manchester City midfielder believes the 19-year-old has a good chance to stake his claim after coming off the bench against FC Midtjylland.
Williams replaced Fabinho after just 20 minutes in Tuesday’s Champions League tie, with the Brazil international now been ruled out until after next month’s international break.
Manager Jurgen Klopp hailed the youngster’s “exceptional” development over the last couple of months after his performance on Tuesday night.
The German boss is also currently without Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip, leaving Joe Gomez is his only fit senior centre-back.
Preston-born Williams was on loan at National League North side Kidderminster Harriers last season but he has now played four times for the Champions this season.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
Now Brown believes the teenager could now be set for his top-flight appearance.
He told Football Insider: “You need these opportunities so players can adapt.
“You watch players in the lower leagues who go on loan and people say: ‘Oh, he’s not very good,’ but it’s a different game, a different setup. All of sudden the players get the experience and are then ready to step in.
“Whether he’s used in the Premier League, we’ll see at Anfield on Saturday. You would say that would be a good test for him.
“No disrespect but against West Ham you’d expect them to do very well even though it’s an improved West Ham side, don’t get me wrong.
“That could be a game that possibly Jurgen thinks he should have a go at that.”