Rhys Williams leaves Liverpool on loan as Klopp green lights familiar exit path

Rhys Williams, Liverpool defender

Liverpool have allowed Rhys Williams to further his footballing education after securing a loan move to a tried-and-trusted Championship club.

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 always was looking 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. And his exit has been ratified after the Reds opted to hand Phillips a new deal.

However, he has signed a new deal with Liverpool before heading out on a temporary basis. And the Reds No 46 will now spend the 2021/22 season on loan with Swansea City. The move to Russell Martin’s side gives Williams an excellent opportunity to further his development.

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The Swans like to play football in a fashion not too dissimilar to Liverpool. A passing side, Williams will look to become a regular at the heart of the Welsh side’s defence. They also typically play a three-man central defence, further enhancing his prospects.

The move is believed to have been personally ratified by Klopp, who will monitor his development closely.

Furthermore, Liverpool sanctioned that loan after seeing the path also bear fruit for Rhian Brewster. The striker, later sold to Sheffield United for £23.5m, enjoyed a half-season loan spell with the Swans in 2020.

Williams told Swansea’s official website: “I am buzzing. I have heard nothing but good things about the club and the manager from a few of the lads back at Liverpool, so I am delighted to be here.

“I’m looking forward to getting some good results on the board and keeping us moving forward.

“I spoke to a few players about it, and they all spoke so highly of the football and the place itself. It’s a club with a good history behind it.

“I was keen to come here. It was one of the places I wanted to come to because of the football they play.

“I believe it will stand me in good stead for next season. I am looking for regular football and I hope I can find that here at Swansea.”

Nat Phillips welcomes new Liverpool deal

His teammate Nat Phillips, meanwhile, has been speaking about committing his long-term future to the Anfield club.

Phillips told Liverpoolfc.com: “Obviously after last year, it’s really nice to get that reward from the club. I’m happy to be sticking around and being available if the club need to call on me again.

“I’m excited for the next chapter and just to see what that brings.

“It is nice that the club has shown me that recognition and hopefully I can bring more of the same with whatever opportunities come my way.

“Over the off-season I had a bit of time to reflect on what had happened throughout the season, how it ended and to be proud of that,” Phillips added.

“But like I’ve said in previous interviews, you don’t want to dwell on that too much and you want to look forward and see if you can continue to push in a positive direction.

“Obviously it was a dramatic change. No-one saw it coming. I didn’t see it coming – the circumstances that unfolded whereby I ended up playing regularly for Liverpool’s first team.

“For anybody playing for Liverpool’s first team, that is going to be life-changing. For me it’s the same. Obviously it’s brought about this opportunity as well.”

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