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Williams explains Van Dijk “privilege” and impact Liverpool star has had on him

Rhys Williams explained why it is a “privilege” to line up alongside Virgil van Dijk as the youngster opened up on the impact the Dutchman has had on his development.

Williams was thrust into the limelight earlier this season as Liverpool’s injuries at centre-back led to his senior debut at the tender age of 19.

The Englishman lined up alongside Van Dijk for the Carabao Cup ties with Lincoln City and Arsenal, and featured heavily in the Champions League group stage.

Williams’ current predicament is a far cry from his loan spell at National League North side Kidderminster last season.

The 19-year-old has taken on a large responsibility this season

And playing alongside Van Dijk is a key reason his transition to becoming a first-team regular at Liverpool has been quite so smooth.

“He’s a player I’ve been watching and admiring from where I’ve been playing since he has come to the club,” Williams told Liverpool’s official website.

“I can see why people call him the best defender in the world, because he makes everything seem so easy and he helps everyone else around him with his voice and his instructions.

Williams impressed when starting alongside Van Dijk and other first-team stars

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“It was a privilege to play alongside him and hopefully I can keep doing that in the future.

“The way he steps in to intercept balls, his timing is perfect for it. If he has got a runner he knows when he needs to drop off with them, or if there’s no pressure on the ball he drops.

“And he controls the rest of the line as well, which I really like, because everyone takes their line from him. That’s something I want to add to my game as well.”

Williams featured in all six of Liverpool’s Champions League group-stage fixtures and made his Premier League debut in the 2-1 win over Tottenham earlier this month.

Meanwhile, Van Dijk is continuing to step up his rehabilitation from an anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered in the Merseyside derby in October.

Does Rhys Williams have what it takes to be a Premier League starter for Liverpool in seasons to come? Have your say here.

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