SOUVENIR PROGRAMME

Rhys Williams (R) before the FA Premier League match between Crystal Palace FC and Liverpool FC at Selhurst Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool set to recall centre-back in January after ZERO loan games

Liverpool are expected to finalise the first of potentially many recalls in the January transfer window, with Rhys Williams‘ loan spell at Aberdeen to end early.

While Liverpool agreed to send 17 players out on loan before the summer deadline, for many of those it has not been a productive campaign so far.

As the January transfer window approaches, and clubs are able to conduct business again, decisions are likely to be made over Fabio Carvalho, James Balagizi and James Norris.

Nat Phillips is likely to return after a frustrating half-season deal with Celtic, while Luke Hewitson’s terms are also due to expire at Stalybridge Celtic.

For Williams, the 22-year-old centre-back, this campaign has been hugely frustrating, having yet to make a single first-team appearance for Aberdeen.

Having hoped to have arrived as a first-choice starter, a troubling back injury which spread to his calves saw his adjustment take an early setback.

LEYLAND, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 18, 2023: Liverpool's Rhys Williams during the Premier League 2 Division 1 match between Blackburn Rovers FC Under-21's and Liverpool FC Under-21's at the County Ground. (Pic by Jessica Hornby/Propaganda)

Since recovering, Williams has yet to make the matchday squad for a single game in the Scottish Premiership, while he has been an unused substitute for all five Europa League group games.

His only outing was for Aberdeen U21s in their Scottish Challenge Cup defeat to Peterhead in August, and he is now due to return to Liverpool.

The Mail report that the club are “considering recalling” the Englishman, though the likelihood of that happening is very high.

It is suggested that Williams would return to “ease the burden” on Jurgen Klopp‘s defensive ranks following a season-ending injury to Joel Matip.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson (left), Rhys Williams (centre) and Nathaniel Phillips celebrate after the Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. Picture date: Thursday May 13, 2021.

But there is little chance of him taking a place in the first-team squad, particularly if Phillips also heads back to Merseyside after a difficult stint with Celtic.

More feasible is that a new loan will be sought for Williams, who played a vital role in the injury-ravaged 2020/21 season but has now dropped down the pecking order.

A similar call could be made with regards Norris, who is struggling for minutes at Tranmere, while Carvalho’s failure to work his way into Marco Rose’s plans at RB Leipzig may see his spell cut short if possible.

Balagizi is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury and, having only played 86 minutes over three games in League One, his stay at Wigan could end early.