Liverpool “cloned” Trent Alexander-Arnold in the form of Neco Williams

Liverpool yesterday had just qualified for the fifth round of the FA Cup after ending the resistance of the team from the 3rd division English League, Shrewsbury Town with a score of 1-0. This match was held at Anfield after last week Liverpool got a 2-2 draw. But the squad revealed that it is not the senior team but the U-20 players who are mentally, physically, and flight hours still “raw”.

Who would have thought Liverpool managed to come out as winners. Liverpool’s average age revealed is 19 years 102 days, which is the youngest average squad in the club’s history. The descent of young players is not without reason. The senior team was indeed given a week’s winter break from the FA according to the April agreement last year. In addition to this match, Liverpool have twice dropped young squad precisely in the match of the Big 8 Carabao Cup vs Aston Villa, December last year, because the senior squad was struggling in the Inter Club World Cup held in Qatar.

Despite losing 5-0 and failing to the semifinals, the young Liverpool dominated the game and gained a lot of appreciation not only from the Liverpool coaching team but also from the official Aston Villa who gave direct appreciation to the players in their dressing room.

Liverpool’s tight schedule has become a blessing for academy players to unleash their best potential so that they can be glimpsed by the first team, including Neco Williams, who is at the core of this article. Neco has been at the academy since the age of 7 (Liverpool u-9) and made his senior debut with Liverpool on 30 October 2019 to face Arsenal at Anfield in the League Cup.

At that time the match ended 5-5 where Neco played 90 minutes by scoring an assist for Divock Origi in the 94th minute which brought Liverpool through to the last 8 after winning the penalty shootout. The sweet debut of the 18-year-old boy was also marked by doing the most tackles and blocks for Liverpool. Neco also did 109 second highest touches after James Milner.

That performance continues when given the opportunity to play in the first team vs Everton in the FA Cup. Neco again played brilliantly. Several times a mature cross as was done by his senior, TAA but failed to be executed properly by Origi and Elliott. Playing full for 90 minutes, Neco did 94 touches which was the most stats compared to 21 players who were on the field at that time. In addition, Neco also did 7 crosses, 2 tackles, and 4 strokes, and 2 shots on target.

Neco performed nicely vs Shrewsbury in the first meeting which ended 2-2. Though Liverpool have two goals ahead, but the poor performance of the two central defenders filled by Matip and Lovren made a slick note Neco was tainted by conceding 2 goals in the second half. Neco received a score of 7 that night from Liverpool Echo while Lovren (4.5) and Matip (5.0).

Neco again performed nicely vs Shrewsbury in the second meeting by providing assists for an own goal scored by Shrewsbury defender R. Williams. A cross from the right side of the defense failed to be dispelled well by the visitors’ defense which was the only goal of the match. Liverpool qualify and will face Chelsea in the last 16 of the FA Cup. Neco got a rating of 9 from Liverpool Echo which is the highest number with Pedro Chirivella. A value of 9 makes Neco the man of the match.

From Neco’s four matches with the first team and with an outstanding performance the Welsh international is predicted to become the new Trent Alexander Arnold in the next few years. The cross, keeping the ball, and passing become Neco’s main weapon, a weapon also used by Trent Alexander Arnold to kill his opponents.

If it reaches the same level as TAA, Neco will be a worthy coating or may take over the right side and return TAA to the midfield position, his original position before being shifted to right-back by Klopp 2016 ago. This was expressed by Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher some time ago.

The Liverpool Scout team is not “cloning” the TAA gene because it seems unlikely, but is copying playing styles, such as crosses owned by TAA, then given to Neco as daily learning material. It is a coincidence or not, Neco started the exact same career as TAA at the academy as a midfielder but was polished by Liverpool to become a right-back. This was confirmed by Neco in an interview with LFC TV: “I set Trent as an example because he has been at the academy since he was six or seven years old, “Williams said.” I watched Trent video. When I train with the senior team I try to watch the things he does and then try to do it “.

“He has passed all stages and is now classified as one of the best right-backs in the world. This shows that with hard work and dedication that can happen.” Klopp actually wanted to bring in a right-back as a TAA competitor in the transfer market at a price of 30 billion, but all were canceled because he realized the huge potential that Neco had. It is common knowledge that wing-backs are the masterminds of attacks and are very important to Juergen Klopp’s scheme in recent seasons. Even the role of Liverpool playmaker held by TAA who has scored 29 assists in all competitions since 2018/2019. Likewise with Robertson on the left side who has scored 20 assists.

“We know how important his cross is to us, and it is truly extraordinary. Neco (Williams) is one example of a very promising player in my team,” Klopp said in an interview session with LFCTV. This season Neco has scored 3 goals and 6 assists for the academy team plus 4 appearances with a score of 1 assistant for the first team. There is still plenty of time for Neco to continue to improve his appearance day by day to be able to approach the level of Trent Alexander Arnold. Only time will tell whether this cloning process will succeed or not.

Thanks to his impressive performance with the first team, Neco will get a prize in the form of a new contract with a long-term duration as one of the conditions for entering the first team. Not only that, the Wales national team is seriously considering calling him.

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