Neco Williams: John Hartson hopes Liverpool defender commits to Wales

Neco Williams celebrates Liverpool's Premier League title win
Neco Williams helped Liverpool win the 2019-20 Premier League title

Former Wales striker John Hartson hopes Liverpool defender Neco Williams will commit his international future to Ryan Giggs' side and not be tempted by interest from England.

Williams, 19, has been capped by Wales at youth level but is yet play a senior international competitive game that would secure his future.

The right-back also qualifies for England via his grandparents.

"I'm sure he's going to win an awful lot of caps," said Hartson.

Wales boss Giggs has previously expressed hopes Wrexham-born Williams, who signed a new five-year contract with Premier League champions Liverpool on Monday, will reject any interest from England manager Gareth Southagte.

Wales are due to play Finland and Bulgaria in the Nations League in September and Hartson, who was capped 51 times, says they are ideal games for Williams' international bow.

"He's played at the younger levels. I hope that he will commit himself to Wales and I wouldn't be surprised if he featured in the next two games," former Celtic striker Hartson told BBC Sport Wales.

"Ideally for himself that [Nations League games] would be great.

"I can't think of a more exciting era and a group of young players than Ryan Giggs has to choose from right now.

"It's a magnificent generation of players we've got coming through and providing competition for places."

Williams has made 11 appearances for Liverpool after a senior debut in October 2019, playing six times under Jurgen Klopp in the Premier League.

He must challenge 21-year-old England defender Trent Alexander-Arnold for a starting spot at Anfield, but Hartson believes Williams' versatility can boost his prospects.

"Obviously Liverpool want to tie him down," said the 45-year-old. "They see him as an integral part of their group and their squad.

"Neco obviously is going to have to try and push on and improve his game.

"It's going to be difficult, but I'm sure Neco Williams can play in a number of positions.

"I'm sure he wouldn't have signed if he didn't feel he could push his way into the side.

"As a young player, you've got to show a bit of patience, but when you get a chance you've got to make sure you take it."

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