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One product of the Reds’ academy system has paid tribute to those following in his footsteps, with Curtis Jones also being singled out for praise

Rhys Williams put in a “world-class performance” on his Premier League debut for Liverpool, says Trent Alexander-Arnold, with one Anfield academy graduate getting a “shout out” from another having contained Tottenham’s fearsome attacking unit.

Jose Mourinho took Spurs to Merseyside in midweek with his side sat at the top of the Premier League table.

They were knocked from that lofty perch by the defending champions, with a dramatic 90th-minute winner from Roberto Firmino seeing Liverpool to a hard-fought 2-1 victory on home soil.

The Reds survived the odd scare in that contest, but were in charge for much of the evening and saw talented teenager Williams provide able cover for the injured Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.

The 19-year-old centre-half was making his top-flight bow for Liverpool against fellow title hopefuls, but he showed no sign of being overawed by the occasion and has earned widespread praise for his mature display.

Fellow home-grown star Alexander-Arnold has led that cheerleading, with the England international telling the Reds’ official website on how hard it is to keep Spurs out: “Especially [Heung-min] Son and [Harry] Kane, with the partnership they have shown they have got this season, it was always important for us to really try to shackle them.

“Shout out to Rhys Williams on his Premier League debut – it has to happen because he has put in a world-class performance there, barely put a foot wrong against probably the best attacking duo in the league so far.

“Shout out to him, it was a fantastic debut and one him and his friends and family can be really proud of.”

Williams and Alexander-Arnold were not the only academy stars to shine for Liverpool against Tottenham, with Curtis Jones catching the eye again in a creative midfield role.

The teenager continues to see his stock soar, with Klopp displaying unwavering faith in emerging talent.

Alexander-Arnold, who has benefited from that philosophy himself, added on Jones: “For the last maybe year or so, the way he has developed as a player and as a person has been amazing to watch and see.

“I think what’s important for him now is to keep his feet on the floor and not get too excited with all the things that’ll be going on around him. It’ll be hectic but for him it’s about focusing on what he needs to do and keeping up the form he’s in.

“I think when we have a fully-fit squad, the manager will have a headache with him, I’m sure.”

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December 18, 2020
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