Neco Williams was praised for a ‘brilliant’ performance by Wales manager Ryan Giggs after the Liverpool defender’s first senior start for his country.
The 19-year-old has had tremendous year after beginning last season hoping to make a first team breakthrough at Anfield and ending it with a Premier League winners’ medal.
He was also part of the Liverpool squad who made history by travelling to Qatar and becoming world champions for the first time and signed a new long term contract in August which committed his future to the champions for the foreseeable future.
The same month also saw Williams an inaugural call-up to the senior Wales squad and he made an immediate impact, making his debut in the UEFA Nations League qualifier against Finland before again coming off the bench to score a dramatic last minute winner against Bulgaria in Cardiff three days later.
Williams has yet to feature in the Premier League for Liverpool this season after making six top flight appearances last term but was handed his first start for his country by Giggs for Wednesday night’s return Nations League fixture in Bulgaria and put in a superb performance as Wales won 1-0.
The young Liverpool defender was part of a defence which kept a sixth competitive clean sheet for the first time since 1981 and even provided the cross which assisted namesake Jonny Williams’s 85th minute winner.
After the game, Wales manager Ryan Giggs was full of praise, saying: “I thought Neco his first start, along on the other flank Rhys [Norrington-Davies] with his first start, were outstanding.
“Neco was brilliant, he’s done really well since he’s come into the team.”
The player ratings from our sister title Wales Online also highlighted Williams’s excellent showing, making him Star Man with a rating of 8 out of 10.
They said: “Big call from Ryan Giggs to choose him ahead of Connor Roberts, but the Liverpool teen more than justified the selection.
“A little untidy in possession at times, but he rampaged forward on the right, brought energy to the team and put in two crucial tackles at the back to thwart rare Bulgaria danger moments.
The international break is almost over and Premier League football is back with a bang.
Liverpool travel to Everton on Saturday for the first Merseyside derby of the season.
Sign up to our LFC newsletter for all the best coverage of the Reds from Paul Gorst, Ian Doyle and the rest of the ECHO team ahead of the big clash.
That’s not all though, you’ll get all the latest breaking Liverpool news direct to your inbox, as well as analysis, opinion and so much more.
How do I sign up?
It’s free, easy and takes no time at all.
- First just click on this link to our newsletter sign-up centre.
- Once you’re there, put your email address where it says at the top, then click on the Liverpool FC newsletter. There are other ones too if you want them as well.
- When you’ve made your choice, press the Update Preference button at the bottom.
That’s it! Your emails will come through to your inbox from that moment on. It’s that simple.
“And, of course, it was Williams popping up from right-back to set up the second-half winner. He will win many, many caps for Wales. And as a starter. An exciting talent.”