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African All Stars

How Salah and Mane are making me a better player – Liverpool’s Neco Williams

13:56 GMT 18/11/2021
Salah, Neco Williams
The Wales international has heaped praise upon the African stars, while offering an insight into how they have helped him grow at Anfield

Liverpool youngster Neco Williams has disclosed Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane's influence has helped him become a better player.

The 20-year-old full-back is a member of Jurgen Klopp's squad having graduated from the club's youth team in 2019.

Since his debut in the EFL Cup for the Reds in their 5-5 draw with Arsenal, the Wales international has earned 28 senior appearances for the Anfield giants.

Having featured regularly alongside the Egypt and Senegal internationals, he claimed that has made him become a better footballer.

"For me when I signed my contract, the main thing was I needed to improve as a player," Williams told Liverpoolfc.com.

"And when I'm coming up against Mo Salah and Sadio Mane every day in training, it's going to make me a better player.

"I feel like I've matured in my game, especially when you've got Salah and Mane running at you every day. It is hard but it's going to make me a better player and I feel like it definitely has helped me.

"Normally a day before a game we'll do like an 11v11 with the starting team and the team who's on the bench or the rest of the players.

"Obviously Salah and Mane are starting most games and to play against them near enough every day, it does feel great because it's going to help me as a player.

"I'm learning off them and it gives me a little battle with them, so I'm enjoying it."

Williams has only featured in just one Premier League game in the 2021-22 campaign – playing for seven minutes as Liverpool pummelled Watford 5-0 at Vicarage Road.

He could be listed in Klopp’s squad to square up against Arsenal during Saturday’s Premier League fixture at Anfield.

In a recent interview, Wales manager Robert Page revealed that he would encourage any of his players to move in search of regular club football, which could be a suggestion for Williams.

“The players want to be playing football, how can they not?” he told WalesOnline.

“When you are involved in games like that [against Belgium], you can’t buy that feeling.

“When you have come off and you have played really well and you listen to the supporters, you can’t buy that.

“They will want to recreate that week in, week out. Players will want to play games.

“For whatever reason domestically they don’t, that is fine, every manager has his own opinions. I can’t influence that.

“All I can influence is encouraging the players to want to go and play domestic football, whether it is at their parent club or elsewhere. That is what we are encouraging them to do.”