Neco Williams’ future in doubt amid World Cup qualification and Premier League promotion

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By Paul Jones

Neco Williams says he will return to Liverpool as a “more mature and improved player” after helping Fulham win promotion to the Sky Bet Championship.

Williams, who joined Fulham on loan in January, has been linked with an exit from Anfield this summer to get more regular playing time with Trent Alexander-Arnold blocking his way to the Liverpool first team.

But the Welsh full-back, who signed a five-year contract with Liverpool in 2020, said he would return to Anfield as their best player after Fulham return to the top flight.

“It was a great loan,” Williams, 21, a Premier League title winner with Liverpool in 2020, said during a McDonald’s Fun Football session.

“But I will return to Liverpool this summer, feeling like a more mature player and definitely an improved player. Right now I just want to play football week in and week out.

“I want to play as much as possible and gain as much experience as possible, and so far it has definitely helped me. I have improved as a player and getting promoted is a good thing to put on the CV.

Fulham entertain Nottingham Forest at Craven Cottage on Tuesday and could clinch the league title.

Victory would take them to 90 points and second-placed Bournemouth would be unable to reach that tally by dropping points to Swansea.

Of the winning promotion, Williams said: “First and foremost, it’s that experience of winning with a large group of players, which is hard to replicate.

“I won the Premier League and I hope I can win the championship now. I have gained a lot of experience in a short time.

“I went from starting a Champions League game against AC Milan and beating them 2-1 to playing at Barnsley, so I gained a lot of valuable and varied experience at such a young age.

“I want to be a Premier League player. For me, I think it’s the best and toughest league in the world. And you always want to play against the best players in the world.

Williams could end the season helping Wales reach just their second World Cup, and their first since 1958.

Wales will face Scotland or Ukraine in Cardiff on June 5 to decide a place in the final in Qatar later this year.

Williams said: “It means absolutely everything to play for the badge on the shirt. Every time you step onto the pitch in this shirt, it’s exciting.

“I’ve always dreamed of playing in a World Cup since I was little, and you don’t realize how difficult it is to get there. We have never been so close in our lives. We will give everything to get there.

“Playing in the World Cup will be a huge boost for the whole Welsh nation and hopefully inspire others to play.”

To give your child their first start on the pitch and for the latest information on McDonald’s Fun Football Sessions which offer free football to children aged 5-11, visit McDonalds.com/Football and follow @FunFootballUK on Twitter and Instagram.

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