Nottingham Forest signed Neco Williams from Liverpool for £17 million in the summer and last weekend a Steve Cooper decision suggests he has a conundrum over the defender.
Forest beat Leeds United 1-0 at the City Ground. Cooper started Williams at right-back with Serge Aurier dropping to the bench despite some good form.
The Reds led at the break but Cooper wasn’t happy. At the interval, he replaced Danilo and Orel Mangala with Jack Colback and Aurier.
That move saw Williams go and play on the left flank, with Cooper switching Forest into a 4-2-3-1 system as they tried to stifle Leeds.
The easiest thing to do with Aurier coming on would have been to take Williams off. Gustavo Scarpa was on the bench and he could have come into the attack.
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But, Cooper opted to place his faith in Williams and it would appear that the ex-Liverpool man is proving a bit of an enigma.
Williams providing Cooper with a Nottingham Forest conundrum
Very few people will dare question Cooper. He can probably walk on water given the miraculous rise of Forest under his stewardship.
Still, with a bench brimming with attacking talent at the weekend, it was a surprise that Williams remained on the field when Aurier was summonsed.
The decision perhaps suggests that Cooper isn’t quite sure, at this stage, what to do with the Wales international.
Williams was signed by Forest in the summer. Given how well Djed Spence played last season, he was always going to have big shoes to fill.
In fairness, the two players are completely different and the comparisons are perhaps unfair.
Aurier’s arrival saw Williams out of the team, however, and it seems crystal clear that Cooper does prefer him in the right-back position.
At 21-years-old, Williams’ time will undoubtedly come. Against Leeds, he did quite well in both halves, although defensively he does have an error in the locker.
Cooper’s decision can’t be questioned too much as Forest won the game.
It does appear, however, as though Williams is currently providing the head coach with a minor conundrum to crack.