The lowdown: Deal close
This comes following reports this week that the 21-year-old was set for a medical at Nottingham Forest ahead of a £16m switch to Steve Cooper’s promoted outfit.
The Welshman spent the second half of last season on loan at Fulham, having found himself surplus to requirements at Anfield behind Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Ahead of next term, the Reds have added young right-back Calvin Ramsay to their ranks, before tying down Joe Gomez to a new deal. Both of those are now seemingly ahead of Williams in the pecking order, leaving the academy graduate little choice but to seek pastures new…
The latest: Whelan hails ‘amazing’ business
He said: “It’s amazing business, isn’t it? It’s a testament to their academy as well for bringing a player like Williams through.
“It’s what it’s all about for an academy of Liverpool’s size – getting these players out on loan, proving themselves, and selling for a big profit. To generate that amount of money on a youth product is invaluable to the football club – and it just shows that what they are doing is working.
“It’s a win-win for player and club. Liverpool get a great fee, great business – and the player gets to go to a club with great history and an exciting season ahead. Forest will want to stay in the division, but if they do go down they’re building a good team for good money – which will give them a great chance of bouncing back.”
The verdict: Another good deal from Ward
So far this summer, Liverpool’s newly-appointed sporting director Julian Ward has already boosted the Anfield coffers to the tune of £50.4m with the sales of Sadio Mane, Takumi Minamino and the permanent departure of Mark Grujic.
Holding a market value of just £7.2m (Transfermarkt), selling Williams for the mooted fee is the perfect example of the Reds being able to extract the best possible deal for the club out of player departures, something which has been imperative to the project under FSG.
Is £16m for Neco Williams good business from Liverpool?
Although the Welsh starlet, who was once dubbed an ‘incredible talent’ by journalist Leanne Prescott, could well go on to reach stellar heights in years to come, at Liverpool the route to stardom was a tricky one.
A move away for Williams certainly seems the best option for all concerned, particularly if it means that Jurgen Klopp and indeed Ward can enter the market in a big way in the coming weeks and months.
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