I’ve been known to rag on the EFL League Cup from time to time. OK, I’ve been known to rag on it frequently and unabashedly.
But even my dark, dark soul cannot deny that the 5-5 match against Arsenal in the last round produced some incredible moments, with an incredible, dramatic finish. And that a major reason for those incredible moments was because so many involved inexperienced, young, and enthusiastic players from Liverpool’s academy.
One of those moments came from 18-year-old Neco Williams, making his Liverpool debut at right back. With the Reds trailing deep into stoppage time, the young fullback picked out Divock Origi in the box for a cross. And of course Origi did what Origi does in these situations.
“I turned straight to the Kop and I was trying to soak it all in, all the atmosphere,” Williams said in an interview with LFCTV. “I turned around and they [the players] were all coming to me. It obviously meant something to the players. It was a great feeling.
“There’s only one way to sum it up really: a dream come true. It was a special night for me and my family.
“Not many footballers get to say they made their debut for Liverpool at Anfield. Obviously it was a big day for me and I enjoyed every minute of it.
“That just makes me want to work harder to get more opportunities. I’ve just got to keep going and keep fighting and hopefully more opportunities will come.”
Helping to put the ball in the back of the net will always help young players get a second look. Of course, there’s a long way to go for Williams, and he has some huge, Scouse shoes to fill at right back. But it’s great that he has a taste of what might yet come with more training, hard work, and a bit of luck.
Williams and Pedro Chirivella will have a chance to prove themselves again against Aston Villa, while the rest of the squad is away in Qatar.