Jurgen Klopp has admitted that the decision to throw Rhys Williams into the Liverpool first-team came from a member of his backroom staff.
Injuries to Virgil van Dijk, Fabinho and Joel Matip have left the champions threadbare in the heart of defence.
Fabinho hobbled off in the win over FC Midtjylland, handing 19-year-old Williams an unlikely opportunity in Klopp’s XI.
He grabbed that chance with both hands and now the defender, who was playing on-loan with Kidderminster Harriers last season, is in line for his Premier League debut this season.
But Klopp has revealed he knew little about the centre-back before his impressive showings in the Carabao Cup earlier this season.
Instead, Elite Development Coach Vitor Matos was the man who recommended Williams to the Reds boss.
“I’m involved in most of the things but not all of the things, so it’s not that I knew Rhys Williams before he went out on loan,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
“We knew from the pre-season Nat Phillips was back [from his loan at Stuttgart]. I know him for a long time already and like him a lot, sensational boy, character, real fighter, and we knew about ‘Billy the Kid’, he was in a pre-season with us.
“Then when Billy was injured we thought ‘OK, how can we fill it up?’. And Vitor said, ‘No, there’s Rhys Williams, he’s really good’. ‘Ok, bring him up’, and then I saw him the first time, and from the first moment he’s pretty impressive. He’s a character as well, which helps, so that’s the situation now.
“That’s what I mean when you have problems you need to realise there’s a problem then immediately you have to work on the solutions. Our solutions are now pretty young players.
“We will see how we will and can use them. But they will help us and we will help them, and Rhys is one of them.”
Williams could be in line for more than one start in the Premier League, after Klopp suggested that Fabinho could miss more than one game with the injury he picked up in the Champions League.
He added: “Fab is not in, that’s clear. He got a little injury and so he will be out for the weekend and probably slightly longer.”