Jurgen Klopp gives verdict on Liverpool FC teenager Rhys Williams
Liverpool FC boss Jurgen Klopp was impressed with Rhys Williams in Tuesday night's 5-0 win at Atalanta
Jurgen Klopp heaped praise on Rhys Williams after the Liverpool FC teenager helped the Reds to keep a clean sheet in Tuesday night’s 5-0 victory over Atalanta.
The 19-year-old started his second successive Champions League game for the trip to Italy despite the Serie A side having a reputation for being a devastating attacking unit.
Williams did a solid job in Liverpool FC’s 2-0 win over Danish side FC Midtjylland at Anfield last week before the teenager excelled alongside Joe Gomez on Tuesday night.
The former Kidderminster Harriers defender completed one tackle and won one aerial duel in a relatively straightforward night for the England Under-21 international.
Williams is competing with Nathaniel Phillips for a starting spot in the Liverpool FC team in the absence of Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Fabinho due to injury.
Williams has featured against Ajax, FC Midtjylland and Atalanta, while Phillips won man of the match for his performance in Liverpool FC’s 2-1 win over West Ham United last weekend.
The Merseyside outfit’s makeshift defence will face a test this weekend when Liverpool FC make the trip to Manchester City in the Premier League.
Speaking at his post-match media conference on Tuesday, Klopp was full of praise for Williams after the teenager’s composed performance at the back.
“Starting with Rhys – exceptional,” Klopp said.
“I cannot imagine being 19 years old and playing my second adult professional football game in the Champions League against [Luis] Muriel and [Daniel] Zapata, or most of the time against Zapata.
“It’s incredible. I would have been nervous like hell. The boys are not, that helps massively.
“But defending is obviously a common thing and how the team defended tonight was absolutely incredible.
“When you leave the last line alone, which we did from time to time, not on purpose but because of thinking things are always going well, in the end we win the challenges anyway.”
Liverpool FC have managed to keep three successive clean sheets in the Champions League this season despite losing Van Dijk to a long-term knee problem.
The Reds will look to avenge their 5-0 loss at The Etihad last season when Liverpool FC take on Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.