But the performance of 19-year-old defender Rhys Williams was a ray of hope for Jurgen Klop p amidst the dreariness.
After Liverpool’s Champions League victory over Midtjylland FC, the club’s defensive crisis worsened when Fabinho, a midfield substitute, sustained a hamstring injury.
The performance of young Liverpool defender Rhys Williams was a ray of hope as the Reds’ defensive crisis deepened and Fabinho cured a hamstring problem against Midtjylland FC in the Champions League.
With Liverpool facing an intense schedule of Premier League and Champions League matches ahead of the January transfer window, there are concerns about how the Reds will cope, and there are suggestions to ask midfielders Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum – who on very rare occasions have been pushed into the back lines – to do so again.
With Virgil van Dijk likely to miss most, if not all, of the season due to his knee injury in the ACL and Joel Matip currently unavailable, Joe Gomez is now the only fit senior international back in the ranks.
It was clear that many of his teammates were impressed with the youngster’s performance, and several of them expressed their admiration in the comments under Williams’ Instagram post after the game, with a two-word nickname becoming a topic of discussion for him.
The impressive performance of Preston-born LFC Academy graduate Williams as he replaced Fabinho against the Danish champions gave at least some hope that he would prove a viable option if Klopp is to navigate his side through these difficult times.
After Williams made his first appearances in Liverpool’s senior squad only in the first rounds of the Carabao Cup this season against Lincoln City and Arsenal, and only made a very brief Champions League debut in the final phase of last week’s win at Ajax, Williams seemed secure against the Danes and made hardly any mistakes on a night when few of the senior stars around him shone.
Williams posted: “I am looking forward to another Champions League appearance. Great performance by the boys, 3 points and a clean record”.
Scorer Diogo Jota was one of the first to answer with “Big Man”, accompanied by a clapping emoji.
Harvey Elliott, who is currently enjoying a brilliant start to his tenure with Blackburn Rovers, said: “Yes, Big Man”, and Jordan Henderson, Curtis Jones and central defender Joe Gomez were also in on the action.
Andy Robertson followed him with the words: “Love it big man”, while Xherdan Shaqiri commented: “Well done, big boy.
Meanwhile, James Milner mentioned Williams in his own Instagram article and said, “Well done, big boy: “Missed the 12th man at times tonight, but the most important thing was to get the 3 points. Great performance by @rhyswilliams4 when he competed.”
Jurgen Klopp also praised Williams after the game, but at the same time expressed caution in view of the increased spotlight that should now fall on the 19-year-old.
“The only problem we have now, unfortunately, is that we now have four days until the game against West Ham and you will write a story about him every day and he has to prove that he can handle it!
“He is a talent, he plays for the English U20, he is 19 years old. He hasn’t played in the Premier League yet, but he has played two Champions League games and won both, which is quite extraordinary. He has done well, everything looks promising.
“Rhys Williams has done really well,” Klopp said.