The England international is a source of inspiration at Anfield for the teenager, who is looking to establish himself in the senior squad
Neco Williams has opened up on his ambitions to follow in Trent Alexander-Arnold’s footsteps at Liverpool, describing a fellow defender as “one of the best full-backs in the world”.
Williams was handed his first-team debut for the Reds back in October, after spending the last 10 years rising through the youth ranks at Melwood.
He made his Anfield bow in a thrilling penalty shootout victory over Arsenal in the Carabao Cup, and has featured in four more cup fixtures since then, most notably providing the assist for the only goal of the game in Liverpool’s fourth-round FA Cup replay victory over Shrewsbury .
At the age of just 18, it is unlikely that Williams will be handed a regular spot in Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI just yet, especially with Alexander-Arnold currently occupying his position at right-back.
Alexander-Arnold was one of Liverpool’s most consistent performers during their run to Champions League glory last year, and the 21-year-old has built on that platform to help the team push for a first league title in 30 years.
Williams sees the England international’s rise to prominence as proof that “anything is possible with hard work”, and has admitted to studying an Anfield colleague in a bid to improve his all-round game.
“It’s just kind of an eye-opener to prove to people that anything is possible with hard work and dedication,” Williams told Liverpool’s official website .
“Trent was at the Academy from a young age and he’s gone up through the ranks. Now he’s obviously one of the best right-backs in the world and he’s playing unbelievably.
“So I think for all the Academy, it doesn’t matter what position, it’s just an eye-opener to prove to people that it is possible.
“When I’m training obviously I’m trying to focus on myself and my own game but at the same time, I’m watching Trent and trying to study how he plays also and try to take bits and parts of what he does into my game.
“I think that’s what I’ve been doing since I’ve been going up there [Melwood]. That’s definitely improving me as a player.”
When asked if he ever imagined being part of the senior squad at this stage of his career, Williams responded: “No, not at all. But obviously, with hard work and dedication, it can happen.
“I’m just taking it day by day, just grasping it all in. It’s unbelievable training and being with one of the best teams in the world.
“To train with them every day, gaining experience is improving me as a player. I’m just growing in confidence every time I train with them.
“It is still a bit surreal. Like when you go in training and see the players, you kind of pinch yourself and be like, ‘Am I really here?’
“But as soon as you get on the grass, all your emotions go and you just focus on trying to do as best as you can.”
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The Liverpool starlet went on to credit Jurgen Klopp for how he supports the club’s younger players behind the scenes, insisting the German head coach is always on hand for any “help or support”.
“He’s been unbelievable, he’s unbelievable with all the youngsters that go up,” said Williams. “Whenever we need help or support, he’s always there.
“He’ll have banter with us and treat us normally, like a normal player of his. Whoever it is – if we’re a youngster or one of his older, senior players – he treats us all the same. We all have the same banter and it’s good times up at Melwood.”