LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 9, 2021: Liverpool's Neco Williams applauds the supporters after a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético Osasuna at Anfield. Liverpool won 3-1. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Neco Williams seals Premier League move as Liverpool make £17m transfer

Neco Williams has departed Liverpool after 15 years with the club, with the academy graduate joining Nottingham Forest in a deal worth up to £17 million.

It has been a remarkable journey for Williams over the past three seasons, having stepped up to the first-team ranks in 2019 and gone on to make 33 appearances for Liverpool.

At times during his development in the academy, he seemed an unlikely pick for the senior setup, but the progress he has made over four years has been remarkable.

Williams is now a 21-cap Wales international and, with the deal now confirmed by both clubs, a £17 million addition to Steve Cooper’s Nottingham Forest squad.

The 21-year-old was subject to interest from the likes of Fulham, Southampton and even Arsenal throughout these early weeks of the transfer window, but Forest were assertive in their push to sign him.

He leaves Liverpool after a decade-and-a-half on the books, then, and does so with the best wishes of Jurgen Klopp and his backroom staff.

Williams’ farewell note to Liverpool showed his gratitude for the years he has spent with the club since joining at the age of six.

“15 years at this special club, thank you for everything LFC,” Williams penned.

CARDIFF, WALES - Saturday, June 11, 2022: Wales' Neco Williams sings the national anthem before the UEFA Nations League Group A4 game between Wales and Belgium at the Cardiff City Stadium. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“It’s been an honour to play for this club and to play under Jurgen Klopp. But I’ve now decided to take up a new challenge.”

The switch to Forest comes as a vital time for Williams, with Wales having qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 64 years, and regular first-team football was paramount ahead of the winter tournament in Qatar.

He will almost certainly take up first-choice duties at the City Ground, having been reunited with a former Liverpool academy coach in Cooper.

Williams’ sale brings the total raised at Anfield so far this summer to £67.6 million, following the sales of Sadio Mane to Bayern Munich and Takumi Minamino to Monaco.

The club have already brought in the Welshman’s replacement in £6.5 million teenager Calvin Ramsay, allowing Williams to make a much-needed step to another Premier League side.

All the best at Forest, Neco!