|Swansea City 0 v 0 Millwall|
Wednesday, 15th September 2021 Kick-off 19:45
Rhys Williams :The ability of this player is far beyond the Championship
Wednesday, 15th Sep 2021 12:49 by Keith Haynes
Liverpool loanee Rhys Williams has already gained the respect of Swansea City manager Russell Martin and his new team mates at the swans. On top of that it’s clear the Harry Wilson mistake the Anfield club made last season by loaning him to Cardiff when better options were available has been learned.
On his debut Rhys Williams looked very much a premier league defender against Hull City on Saturday. A slight injury raised some concern but Russell Martin has no doubt on his ability “He is a young guy so despite him having a run in the team last season, I don’t want to put too much pressure on him. We are really excited to work with him and see him improve during the season. We have been trusted by Liverpool to try to improve him. This club has a great track record of doing that with players and hopefully we’ll do that with Rhys. He has certainly made a really promising start.”
Williams on Saturday, his debut for the swans
Having gained experience from nineteen Liverpool first team appearances last season Williams found himself as second choice when the premier league season began. Of all the clubs a young player on the cusp of a bright career to go to, Swansea is very near the top of any list. Recent successes with Rhian Brewster again on loan from Liverpool, and of course the monster that was Marc Guehi last season determined Liverpool’s decision to send him the the swans. After a decent season at Kidderminster on loan two years ago Williams now needs to hone in his skills as a part of the Swansea City defensive unit, and game time isn’t an issue.
As Martin states “ When he did become available we were the first people they called, which was fantastic for us. Part of that will be down to Rhian Brewster and what he did here, albeit with a different coaching staff. We have had people recently from Manchester United looking at Ethan. They gave us great feedback about the environment, the people we have here and how much he is enjoying it. That’s all we can do, for the players we have who are ours and the players we are taking care of.” On Saturday Williams has a nigh on 100% pass rate, it’s clear he looks after the ball well.
Swansea City are far and away above the majority of Championship clubs in player development and in many cases the premier league as well. That’s something backed up by Liverpool, Manchester United and Chelsea all wanting their younger players to come to Swansea and develop. Martin knows he and his team can deliver that, his total football strategy to dominate the ball is becoming a well known and accepted process for the swans. “We used to get labelled a bit as being a little slow, at my previous club, but it’s completely false. We had more touches in the box than anyone else in the box than anyone else in the country, apart from Norwich and Man City. "We’re not quite getting that, but we’re in the final third a lot. You saw that on Saturday, most of the game was spent in their final third. Now the next bit is taking more risk. Being open to risk the ball in the final third."
Based on that we will see a braver Swansea City tonight, more penetrative, focussed and ready to take those risks. The shots at goal stat on Saturday was very decent, the Hull keeper and the woodwork aiding a 0-0 draw. The referee we have already mentioned. At 6’4” Williams has the height to dominate the penalty area at both ends of the pitch, how Martin deploys him in the opponent’s box will be interesting. He could cause real problems from set plays. Already an England U21 international the Preston born loan player will no doubt get the plaudits this season. It’s a tough old do in the Championship and it seems Russell Martin see’s Williams as a big part of the seasons success.
Photographs licensed from Reuters
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