Liverpool have been linked with a January move for Lille centre-back Sven Botman recently, which could prove to be bad news for young Rhys Williams.
French news outlet Foot Mercato have claimed that Liverpool have expressed interest in signing the 20-year-old and even contacted his representatives in November.
The six-foot-four centre-back has impressed for Christophe Galtier’s side so far this season, having made 17 appearances in the top-flight, averaging a superb 7.13 rating.
Therefore, it is no surprise to hear that Liverpool are reportedly taking an interest in the £9 million-rated defender, especially considering their current injury woes.
Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez are both out for the foreseeable future, whilst Joel Matip has been injury-prone throughout his time with the Merseyside club, meaning Jurgen Klopp has been left without a senior centre-back for much of the season.
Fabinho has done a superb job filling in there, whilst both Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams have impressed when called upon by the German manager.
However, if the Reds were to sign Botman in January, it could harm Williams’ chances of featuring in the first-team for the rest of the season, as you would imagine that the German manager would rotate between Botman, Fabinho and Matip until Gomez and Van Dijk are fit to return.
This could spell trouble for Williams’, as despite his impressive performances at times this season, he is still very inexperienced, having only played senior football for Kidderminster Harriers before breaking into the Liverpool first-team this season.
The academy graduate was heavily praised by Klopp for his display against Atalanta in the Champions League, with the manager saying:
“We can start with Rhys – exceptional. I cannot imagine being 19 years old and playing my second professional football game in the Champions League against [Atalanta striker Duvan] Zapata, it’s incredible! I would have been nervous like hell, but the boy was not.”
Whilst he also caught the eye in the recent 2-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur, you worry that when Liverpool’s senior defenders return to full fitness, he could struggle for game time in this Liverpool side, especially if they were to sign Botman in next month’s transfer window.
It will be interesting to see if the Reds opt to add reinforcements at centre-back in January, or whether Klopp decides to keep faith in the likes of Williams and Phillips, in the hope that they can help deliver a second successive Premier League title.
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