Premier League • England

Liverpool star told he has ‘recipe for success’ after showing strength to break away from Klopp

Neco Williams, Marco Silva Swansea v Fulham March 2022

Neco Williams is brewing a “recipe for success” with his Fulham form following his decision to leave Liverpool on loan, Wales boss Robert Page has said.

The right-back first emerged as a Liverpool prospect in the 2019/20 campaign. After making his debut in a Carabao Cup clash against Arsenal, he went on to claim a Premier League winners’ medal.

However, Wales star Williams has largely struggled for minutes at Liverpool behind Trent Alexander-Arnold.

As a result, the 20-year-old moved to Fulham for the rest of the season in January. Liverpool were initially negotiating with Fulham over a deal for Fabio Carvalho. After time ran out, they discussed Williams’ future instead.

And the defender has impressed both at the back and going forwards for the promotion-hunting Cottagers. He has contributed two goals and two assists in nine Championship appearances.

Wales boss Page encouraged Williams to leave Liverpool in November. Page urged the player to maintain his form ahead of the March international break. Indeed, Wales play Austria in a World Cup play-off semi-final later this month, with the final shortly after.

And amid his starring role at Fulham, Page has applauded Williams for breaking off from Jurgen Klopp’s ranks.

“Great for Neco to make that decision,” the manager told the Liverpool Echo.

“He had to be brave and strong and say to Liverpool ‘I’m not happy just sitting in the squad’, where he’s training with world class players day in day out.

Fulham target Joe Gomez in double Liverpool deal

Fulham target Joe Gomez in double Liverpool deal

Joe Gomez and Nico Williams are wanted by Fulham this summer as Liverpool look to off load the pair

“He wants to play week in, week out, and I’ve got nothing but respect for him for doing that and he’ll benefit from having that experience.”

Page added that Williams’ recent form means he can carry on the Wales momentum he gained in the last international break.

“I thought Neco, in the last camp against Belgium, went to another level,” Page said.

“He was playing on the left, as opposed to playing on the right where he plays for Fulham just behind Harry [Wilson], but you can play him anywhere on the pitch. He’s full of enthusiasm. He wants to improve and he wants to play for his country.

“When you’ve got that, you’ve got a recipe for success. He’s in good form and that’s really encouraging for me.”

Neco Williams faces Liverpool decision

Neco Williams, Fulham v Peterborough February 2022

Williams will soon return to his parent club Liverpool, but his future there remains unclear.

He can stick around as Alexander-Arnold’s deputy in the hope of getting sporadic minutes. However, the pressure will likely remain from Page to think about his international progress.

As a result, reports have claimed that Fulham want to sign Williams on a permanent deal.

The Cottagers are closing in on promotion back to the Premier League and want to reward the right-back for his influence.

Klopp has been full of praise for Williams’ progress at Liverpool and his stance on the player’s future remains unclear.