Neco Williams' Display Against Brighton Was a Reminder That Liverpool Don't Need to Spend Big This Summer

Neco Williams
Neco Williams made his first Premier League start for Liverpool against Brighton on Wednesday | Pool/Getty Images

Premier League title secured, no other competitions to play in, why not try something different?

There are still records to be broken this season for Liverpool that they'll definitely have their sights set on, but with the talent they've got in the squad, they can afford to start tinkering in areas with an eye on the future.

The likelihood of the Reds spending big this summer is evidently slim, given their decision to pull out of the Timo Werner deal, which means there must be a plan in place, right?

It would appear that is with an emphasis of integrating youngsters into the first team. Rhian Brewster and Harvey Elliott up front, Curtis Jones in midfield and the likes of Neco Williams in defence.

Williams earned his first Premier League start away at Brighton on Wednesday. Having made eight appearances in all competitions this season, the 19-year-old finally got his chance from the off against the Seagulls and looked every bit the part.

Normally a right-back, he was given his chance on the opposite flank in place of Andrew Robertson, putting in a composed and mature performance throughout.

His involvement was mostly in attacking areas, but whenever he shifted the ball onto his favoured right foot his quality really shone through. A teenager hitting an inch-perfect cross-field ball to Mohamed Salah on his full Premier League debut is a sight that Klopp will have been grinning from ear to ear to at. And he did it more than once.

It was evident that he had to adjust himself to the position, as whenever he collected possession in the final third he always looked to cut inside and play to his strengths.

Sometimes that was with neat close control, other times with tidy step overs. Whatever way he did it, it was usually very effective. He also showed great awareness in defensive positions to track runners and nullify empty spaces. This was demonstrated best through a superb last-minute block to deny Leandro Trossard in the first half, where Georginio Wijnaldum lost track of his marker.

As you'd expect, it wasn't a flawless display. On a few occasions he was caught out of possession and relied on Virgil van Dijk or Jordan Henderson to cover for him, but these are teething issues that can also be linked back to the unfamiliarity of the position he was playing.

Despite Klopp taking Williams off at half time, it will be of great reassurance to the German that Williams is just one of a number of either academy or youth prospects within the Liverpool ranks who looked destined for fruitful careers.

With the league wrapped up, there is no better time to give them their opportunity to stake a claim for the future - something which Williams certainly did.

Needing three wins from their remaining four matches to secure a Premier League record points tally, Klopp might have been forgiven for steering clear of giving youth too many chances. Yet if Williams' display is anything to go by the he'll have no worries in granting further chances to any of his other highly-rated prospects.

Burnley, Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle are the Reds' final four fixtures. Whatever the quality of the opposition may be or wherever the fixture is played shouldn't faze Klopp. Now he can show the - bizarrely disgruntled - group of supporters who want big-money signings that summer additions aren't needed in their droves.

This crop are among the best in the country, with Williams' - brief - performance on the south coast a timely reminder of that.

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