The 2012-13 EPL season has been a disappointing one for Liverpool as it currently sits in seventh with an all-important, top-five position out of reach. The Reds need to start to building for next season and acquiring Swansea City defender Ashley Williams would be a great start.
According to Hannah Duncan of The Metro, Swansea is asking for £10 million in exchange for its captain. That may seem like a hefty price tag at first glance, but the Welsh national team captain is one of the steadiest and most reliable defenders in the world. Liverpool needs a stabilizing presence on the back end and he would be a great fit.
There is no question that Williams to Liverpool makes a lot of sense as former Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers is now at Anfield. Liverpool hasn't struggled to score this season as its 67 goals places it third in the EPL, but defense and goalkeeping has been an issue. The familiarity between Williams and Rodgers would make Williams an instant success.
It's tough to quantify how good a defender is since they generally don't score much, but perhaps in an effort to pump up his value, Swansea City made it clear that Williams is one of the top defenders in the entire EPL.
Swansea City AFC @SwansOfficial
Swans defender @AshWills84 has completed more interceptions (225) and blocks (42) than any other player in the Premier League. #statattack2013-4-28 12:16:11
Despite Williams' fantastic play this season, rumors persist that Liverpool may not be as interested as some might think. According to Richard Buxton of Goal.com, Liverpool executives are attempting to prevent Rodgers from bringing in his former player.
EXCLUSIVE - Liverpool's board are blocking Brendan Rodgers from making a move for Ashley Williams: http://t.co/FbDfih2GQg2013-5-6 13:33:44
Liverpool desperately needs a savvy defender with Jamie Carragher set to retire at the conclusion of the season. One would think that Williams is his logical successor, but it seems like The Reds are being a bit too money-conscious rather than focusing on what is best to improve the team.
It can be argued whether or not Williams will live up to a £10 million transfer fee, but elite players generally go for much more than that. Williams isn't a guy who is going to light up the score sheet like Luis Suarez, but the defensive statistics suggest that Williams is the best in the entire league right now at his position.
Arsenal is also in the mix for Williams and will likely jump at the chance to secure him if Liverpool bows out. It's difficult to say which situation Williams would prefer since Arsenal is the better team, but the connection with Rodgers is present at Liverpool. If The Reds want Williams, though, he is there for the taking.
This saga figures to continue for quite some time before a proper conclusion is reached. If Liverpool is concerned about money, then perhaps Williams isn't the right fit. If it wants a quality player that will solidify its defense, however, there is no reason why Liverpool shouldn't pursue him.
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