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Forest sign Liverpool defender Williams

Forest sign Liverpool defender Williams

Nottingham Forest have completed the £16 million signing of Liverpool right-back Neco Williams on a four-year contract.

Williams, 21, spent the second half of last season out on loan with Championship winners Fulham, where he made 14 league appearances, scoring twice and assisting two goals for the west London team.

“I’m really excited to join Nottingham Forest and to help this great club move forwards in the Premier League,” said Williams of the move.

“Forest are a club with incredible history and the City Ground is a very special venue that I can’t wait to experience in full voice in the coming weeks.

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Neco Williams seals Fulham’s 5-1 victory over Swansea with a stunning volley from just outside the box.

“Having spoken to the head coach, there’s a huge amount of ambition being shown at the club and I can’t wait to join up with my new team-mates and get ready for the challenge ahead.”

The full-back had spent his entire Anfield career deputising for the club’s first-choice right-back Trent Alexander-Arnold, meaning he had been restricted to just 33 matches in all competitions since making his debut in October 2019.

The Wrexham-born Williams, though, is expected to start at right back for Wales at this winter’s World Cup finals in Qatar.

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“Despite being only 21, Neco has established himself in the Wales starting XI”, said Forest boss Steve Cooper. “He’s played in the Premier League, the Champions League and in World Cup qualifiers in the last 12 months and he is a very talented right back.

“We believe that he’s got an incredibly high ceiling and that he can play a huge role for us at Nottingham Forest in our return to the Premier League. We’re delighted to have him on board.”

Williams becomes Cooper’s sixth signing of the summer following the arrivals of Taiwo Awoniyi, Moussa Niakhate, Dean Henderson, Giulian Biancone and Omar Richards.

Right time for Williams to leave Liverpool

Analysis by Sky Sports’ Richard Morgan:

With Nottingham Forest having finally finalised a deal for Neco Williams, the youngster’s time at Liverpool is now up after more than a decade at the club.

The right-back joined the Reds’ academy aged just six, but despite making his debut against Arsenal in the League Cup in October 2019, had made just 33 appearances in total since, with his path to the first team blocked by the sizeable figure of England international Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Wales' Neco Williams in action during the FIFA World Cup Qualifying match at the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff. Picture date: Saturday November 13, 2021.

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Williams is set to start at right back for Wales at this winter’s World Cup finals in Qatar

However, despite getting a Premier League winner’s medal in 2019-20, Liverpool’s decision to sign Aberdeen right-back Calvin Ramsay this summer may have finally convinced the player to end his time on Merseyside.

Meanwhile, the 21-year-old is also now a key cog in Rob Page’s Wales team and will no doubt have game time in mind ahead of this winter’s World Cup finals in Qatar when deciding to leave Anfield.

And with Williams having flourished while out on loan at Fulham in the second half of last season, scoring twice and assisting two goals for Marco Silva’s Championship winners, this could prove to be a smart bit of business by the newly-promoted Premier League side.

Nottingham Forest’s fixtures: Forest return with trip to Newcastle

Nottingham Forest Fixtures 2022/23

Nottingham Forest’s first game back in the Premier League will be a trip to Newcastle on August 6, as the Reds embark on their first top-flight season since the 1998-98 campaign.

Steve Cooper’s side won promotion to England’s top tier after they won the Championship play-off final against Huddersfield at the end of May, ending a near-quarter of a century wait for Premier League football.

Forest’s first top-flight home game back sees David Moyes’ West Ham arrive at the City Ground on the weekend of August 13.

Forest then face a tricky next few games as they travel to Everton, host Tottenham and then go to champions Manchester City before the end of August.

Forest’s East Midlands rivalry with Leicester City will resume on October 1 at the King Power Stadium, with the return fixture at the City Ground on January 14. The club’s Boxing Day fixture sees them go to Old Trafford for a trip to Manchester United.

The Reds will end their season with a trip to Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, after having gone to Chelsea and hosted Arsenal in the preceding weeks.

Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move this summer when the transfer window opens on June 10 and closes at 11pm on September 1?

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

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