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Liverpool Already Have Virgil Van Dijk’s Successor Named Rhys Williams

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Liverpool won Week 13 of the Premier League against Tottenham Hotspur with a score of 2-1 at Anfield, Thursday (17/12) early morning Western Indonesian Time.

Two goals from the Reds were scored by Mohamed Salah (26 ‘) and Roberto Firmino (90’) which Son Heung-min reduced (33 ‘).

The victory was special because it brought the defending champion to the top of the standings with 28 points, three points adrift of Jose Mourinho’s Spurs, who are rivals for the title race this season.

The evening at Anfield was even more special for 19-year-old centre-back Rhys Williams. Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool academy products play the full 90 minutes with Fabinho at the heart of the defense.

Williams replaces the injured Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez. There is no awkwardness from Williams playing in a competitive match against the Spurs front line who are on fire like Harry Kane and Son to Lucas Moura.

“Oh my God! Incredible. Rhys Williams. Currently playing against Alan Shearer with Harry Kane. They avoided Rhys and forced Fabinho to play long balls,” said Klopp praising Williams.

“Rhys was so strong in the air. He played the pass for our first goal and had enough confidence that you don’t have to explain how it worked. He kept it simple and didn’t fall too early. What a game.”

Rhys Williams debut went smoothly in the Premier League. The match could be a marker for the player’s journey to become a star in Europe. For those of you who don’t know, here’s what to know from Rhys Williams.

1. Already Winning Trophies

Williams has had enough experience winning trophies while strengthening the Liverpool youth team. He was in the squad when Liverpool won the FA Youth Cup in 2019. Liverpool won on penalties after the match in normal time ended in a 1-1 draw.

In that match, there were also talented young men such as Neco Williams and Eric Garcia. The experience of winning the trophy is expected to strengthen Rhys Williams’ mentality.

2. A figure like Virgil van Dijk

Six wins in air ball duels, 100 per cent success of aerial ball duels, two sweeps of the ball, twice cuts the ball. That statistic was owned by Williams when Liverpool won against Spurs – data from Whoscored.

His dominant figure in the air reminds the public of Van Dijk’s figure. Liverpool should not have gone too far in looking for a successor to the Dutch defender, especially since Williams was inspired by Van Dijk.

“He is very calm and confident in what he is doing. You will not see him panic in big situations. He’s just a great role model for everyone,” added Williams.

“I watch all the Liverpool games and he is the main player I focus on. If they do analysis after the game and it’s about him, then I will record him or watch him there and then just to see if I can take a little of his.”

3. International Career

The centre-back who was born in Preston, February 3, 2001, is also experienced at youth level at the England national team. Rhys Williams has played from the England U-18 to U-21 national team and has always been the first choice. Only a matter of time in the future he will be called up by the senior England national team.

In the youth squad for the England national team, Williams along with other talented young men such as Bukayo Saka (Arsenal) and his Liverpool teammate, Curtis Jones.

4. Admired John Barnes

It is an honour to be recognized by a club legend. Rhys Williams also got it from The Reds legend John Barnes. He believes Williams, Jones and Harvey Elliott will form the backbone of Liverpool in the future.

“If people leave you have to replace them to get a good squad, but Liverpool has Curtis Jones, Rhys Williams, Harvey Elliott and other young players,” said Barnes.

5. The potential to follow in the footsteps of Trent Alexander-Arnold

Trent Alexander-Arnold has become a reference for the new generation of academics who are the core players in the first team. Curtis Jones caught up with him as Klopp trusted him to play him. Williams also has the potential to follow suit.

Klopp already trusts him more than Sepp van den Berg at the heart of the defense. Every time Williams appears, he doesn’t disappoint either. Williams’ potential to follow Alexander-Arnold’s footsteps is wide open.

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