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Rhys Williams recalled to Liverpool from Aberdeen loan spell

sportsmole.co.uk, 3 January 2024, 11:19
Liverpool have announced that Rhys Williams has been recalled from his loan spell with Scottish Premiership side Aberdeen.

The 22-year-old defender was shipped out to Pittodrie on a straight loan spell for the 2023-24 campaign, but a forgettable stint saw him fail to make a single appearance for the Aberdeen first team.

Williams was on the bench for all six of Aberdeen's Europa Conference League group matches and their Europa League qualifying round second-leg loss to BK Hacken, but he was not included in one Scottish Premiership squad.

The former England youth international's only appearance for Aberdeen in any competition came for the B team in the Challenge Cup, playing the full 90 minutes in a 5-3 loss to Peterhead in the second round.

Back in December, it was reported that Liverpool were considering recalling Williams from Scotland due to Joel Matip's ACL injury, which is expected to sideline the Cameroonian for the remainder of the season.

Now, the Reds have confirmed that Williams is back at Anfield after a difficult few months at Pittodrie, although it is unclear whether he will remain with Liverpool for the second half of the season or be shipped out on loan again.

The 2001-born defender remains under contract with Jurgen Klopp's side until the summer of 2026, having earned himself a long-term extension after a breakthrough 2020-21 campaign in the Liverpool backline.

Williams - who has been on the books at Anfield since 2011 - often formed an emergency centre-back pairing with Nat Phillips during the second half of that season, when Matip, Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk were all absent due to injury.

The 22-year-old made seven Premier League starts, including in each of Liverpool's final five fixtures of the season - all of which ended in victory - to ensure Champions League qualification for the Reds.

Williams also started seven games across the Champions League, FA Cup and EFL Cup behind closed doors that season, but he has not made another first-team appearance since, being loaned out to Swansea City and Blackpool in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 campaigns respectively.

Liverpool had already recalled Fabio Carvalho (RB Leipzig) and Owen Beck (Dundee) from their loan stints before bringing Williams back to Merseyside, and fellow centre-back Phillips is also expected to return from his Celtic spell imminently.

Klopp's side are back in action on Sunday with a trip to Arsenal in the third round of the FA Cup, where neither Mohamed Salah nor Wataru Endo will be available due to Africa Cup of Nations and Asian Cup commitments.

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