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Jürgen Klopp: We’re proud of Neco – he deserves to play regularly

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Jürgen Klopp will remain a keen observer of Neco Williams’ blossoming career from afar after the full-back completed a permanent transfer to Nottingham Forest.

The Wales international will now continue his development under the management of Steve Cooper at the newly promoted Premier League outfit.

Williams joined the Reds’ Academy set-up at U9 level and progressed right through to the first team, where he made 33 appearances in all competitions across three seasons.

Klopp stressed the decision to allow such a talent to depart the club was one he wrestled with, though ultimately concluded the 21-year-old was more than deserving of regular game time at this stage of his footballing journey.

“It’s wonderful news for Neco – a perfect move in many ways,” the boss told Liverpoolfc.com. “He’s a bright, exciting talent and he’s going to a club that is upwardly mobile in this moment.

“I am a big fan of their manager and he knows Neco from when he coached at our Academy. I think they’ll be ideal for each other.

“He’s achieved so much already but there is even more to come. Premier League and Champions League experience for us; a promotion last season with Fulham, who looked after him superbly, I must say; a contributor to our trophy wins for sure; one of Wales’ most important players and going to a World Cup.

“It’s not easy to let him leave if I’m being honest, but he deserves to be playing regularly and he’s earned the right to be ready for his international team for this tournament coming in the winter.

“I’m proud of the part we have played in his growth and development – I mean the entire club, not just as a first-team environment.

“Our Academy deserves a special mention. They produce so much talent and Neco’s progression is something they can be very proud of.

“We wish him success and look forward to seeing him continue on his journey, albeit now from a distance.”

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