Liverpool youngster Neco Williams offered support by team-mates Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson after online abuse received in wake of win over Lincoln
- Liverpool’s senior players have offered support to young full-back Neco Williams
- Those included: Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson
- The 19-year-old Wales international had been subjected to social media abuse
Liverpool‘s senior players have spoken to young full-back Neco Williams and offered him their total support after he was a target for online abuse.
Wales international Williams, who has been shortlisted for 2020 Golden Boy award following his excellent first season in Liverpool’s first team, received extreme criticism in the wake of Liverpool’s 7-2 win at Lincoln last Thursday.
Williams was startled by the level of flak he received and is not using his Twitter account at present but he has received backing from figures such as Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson to remind him of the progress he has made.
Liverpool’s senior players have offered support to young 19-year-old full-back Neco Williams
It was in a Carabao Cup tie against Arsenal last October that Williams emerged with a Man-of-the-Match display and he will line up against the same opponents this evening with Pep Lijnders, Liverpool’s assistant manager, adamant he will overcome the problems.
‘It is not for me to comment on social media,’ said Lijnders. ‘All I can say is abuse is wrong, through social and on the street. It is wrong. Second, you are not a Liverpool supporter if you do not support. In difficult times if you say you are family and together, you stay together.
‘The most important thing in difficult times when people say things that are not right – or not in the right context – is they (players) need to feel the full faith. Sometimes you do not need words, but what is much more important is Trent spoke with him, Virgil spoke with him, Robbo spoke with him.
Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Andrew Robertson were some of those who helped
Liverpool’s assistant manager Pep Lijnders has said that the abuse he experienced is ‘wrong’
‘That is how we take care of each other. That is what makes us different. We had players speak with him. We had our manager speak with him. That is a phase he goes through. But again, you cannot get caught up with praise or criticism. Neither help you as a young player.’
Liverpool’s team will be unrecognisable to the one that took Arsenal apart on Monday night but the champions continue to be without Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain; Henderson is a doubt to face Aston Villa on Sunday while Oxlade-Chamberlain is recovering from knee surgery.
Oxlade-Chamberlain will not be in the next two England squads and Lijnders said: Jordan we will reevaluate on Friday to look if he is ready for Villa, at least to train with us. Ox needs a bit more time but he is progressing well.’