|First Name: Rhys
Last Name: Williams
DOB: February 3rd, 2001
Birthplace: Preston, England
A veteran of the Liverpool Academy, Rhys Williams has quickly become one of the most promising and exciting players at the club. Recent injuries have led to Williams playing in each of Liverpool’s Champions League matches, including all 90 minutes in the 5-0 victory over Italian side Atalanta. Most notably, Williams has helped Liverpool maintain a clean sheet in each of his performances in Europe. With recent injuries adding up on the defense, including Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez, Liverpool fans can expect to see more of the young defender this year than originally expected.
The English defender joined Liverpool at the age of 10 in 2011, and he rose up through the ranks of the academy, helping Liverpool win the 2018-19 FA Youth Cup. As young talent at Liverpool often does, the success with the FA Youth Cup led to Williams being loaned out for a season to get valuable first team experience. But Williams was not sent to a Championship or League One side – he was sent on loan to Kidderminster Harriers Football Club – currently playing in the National League North, the sixth tier of English football.
The move was tough on Williams at first. His manager of that time, Russell Penn, told Sky Sports that he struggled to assimilate into non-league football at first – the physical nature of the division was a challenge for Williams. However, Williams began to find his groove, eventually becoming an essential member of the squad. Williams made sure that his time at Kidderminster ended as a success, featuring in 26 matches and scoring one goal before returning to Anfield.
His performances at Kidderminster convinced Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp to give the young Englishman his Liverpool first team debut – a Carabao Cup match against Lincoln City which ended in a 7-2 Liverpool victory. The rest of his appearances with the first team have come in the Champions League – where Liverpool have yet to concede.
Liverpool fans can look forward to seeing Williams for a long time, as he recently signed a five-year contract extension that will keep him at Anfield until at least 2025. Williams has yet to make a debut for the English first team but has represented England at the U18, U19 and U21 levels. With Liverpool’s current injury woes opening more game time opportunities for him, top performances like the one against Atalanta could soon see him making his debut for the Three Lions.