Liverpool defender Rhys Williams may soon have a decision to make over his future – but a move to Leeds United appears to be one avenue unlikely to transpire.
The Preston-born defender was thrust into the limelight last season after an unexpected injury crisis left the Reds short at the back. Along with Nat Phillips, he found himself playing for their first team after a string of big names fell by the wayside.
However, having had a taste of first-team football, Williams could look to move on this summer. With Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez all returning to fitness, the Reds have also signed £36million Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig.
That has relegated Williams to sixth choice in Jurgen Klopp’s pecking order. He could though be elevated back up to fifth should Phillips, as expected, seal a £15m move away.
Nonetheless, Williams could himself look to move on, possibly even on loan. At 20-years of age, he could do with further games to add to the 19 he enjoyed for the Reds last season.
That has led to jokes online on YouTube channel UMM about him heading to Leeds, namely because he ‘looks like Kalvin Phillips’. Furthermore, Leeds also have one or two man buns in their side with Jack Harrison, Pascal Struijk and Luke Ayling all wearing them. As such, it’s been jested that Williams would fit right in.
Responding to the speculation, Williams offered a comical response.
“There’s another meme knocking about saying I should go to Leeds because of my haircut,” Williams laughed.
“I wouldn’t say I’m his brother, I don’t think I look anything like him. But there’s a lot of man buns at Leeds, so that’s the only thing I can get from that.”
Leeds are unlikely to move for Williams anyway given they are well blessed themselves for central defenders.
The Whites finished last season with Struijk forming a solid partnership alongside Diego Llorente. They also have Euro 2020 stars Robin Koch and Liam Cooper as options should they need, while Kalvin Phillips can also drop into defence.
Klopp praise for Williams
Speaking in May, Klopp lauded Williams and Nat Phillips for stepping up so effectively for Liverpool.
“These two boys, playing like that, it is incredible, absolutely incredible,” the German said. “That was a proper crash course in a Premier League education, and they have learned so much.
“It’s a sign for all our kids at Liverpool in the academy. It’s possible – it shows it’s possible… just work hard.
“These boys they are obviously not skilled like crazy, they had to work incredibly hard. And now they are proper, proper Premier League players. And that’s exactly how it can work. I am really happy for them.”