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Swansea City signing a Red on deadline day came a little out of the blue.
It is the sort of transfer that fans love in the final throes of a window.
No doubt Swans’ move for Liverpool’s Rhys Williams was being worked on for a while but for most it came a little out of left field, despite knowing that head coach Russell Martin was looking for a ball-playing centre-back.
Williams has now swapped Anfield for the Swansea.com Stadium for the 2021-22 campaign and his arrival has been much heralded.
It is blatantly obvious that Martin wants Swansea to play in a far more fluid fashion to how they were under Steve Cooper, and Williams will be key to that transformation.
A confident centre-back, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp placed faith in the youngster in the midst of a crisis on Merseyside last season and the 20-year-old didn’t let him or anyone else down.
You don’t make 19 appearances for Liverpool – six in the Champions League – if you aren’t good at what you do.
He’s heard plenty on Swansea and stories about the club from people with the Reds and it is clear he can’t wait to get going.
“I am buzzing, I have heard nothing but good things about the club and the manager from a few of the lads back at Liverpool, so I am delighted to be here,” said Williams.
“I am looking forward to getting some good results on the board and keeping us moving forward.
“I spoke to a few players about it, and they all spoke so highly of the football and the place itself, it’s a club with a good history behind it.
“I was keen to come here, it was one of the places I wanted to come to because of the football they play.
“I believe it will stand me in good stead for next season.
“Obviously last season was important for me. No-one could have been prepared for last season, especially me, with all the injuries suffered by centre-backs.
“The last five games of last season were described as five finals so I knew if I could do something good there, I would have put myself in good stead.
“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I hope I can take what I learned and show that here. I have played against some good players, and every game comes with a different challenge, so I hope that shows in my time here.
“I am looking for regular football and I hope I can find that here at Swansea.”
He is likely to go straight into Martin’s starting XI when Hull City arrive in SA1 a week on Saturday. A back three of Williams, Ben Cabango and Kyle Naughton blends experience, mobility and good footballing ability – exactly the qualities the head coach is looking for.
Williams says the motivation to succeed in south Wales is buoyed by what his team-mates at Liverpool have achieved when they have been given their first-team chances under manager Jurgen Klopp.
“It’s been a big influence for me to see some of my friends like Neco Williams and Curtis Jones go straight into the first team at Liverpool, it made me think ‘I wanted a piece of that’.
“Then it was seeing the calibre of players I would hopefully one day play alongside, that’s been a big motivation for me to try and get to that level.”
It is fair to say Williams is not short on confidence. Playing in elite European competition and winning at places like Old Trafford will do that. Swansea will hope his long-term ambitions can have an immediate short-term impact in SA1.