When Liverpool moved for Ben Davies in the January transfer window, one of the reasons, Jurgen Klopp outlined at the time, was to allow Rhys Williams to play regularly at his proper level.

However, the young defender was back in the first-team from the start against Southampton on Saturday, and could possibly retain his place against Manchester United too, should Ozan Kabak's minor muscle problem keep him out.

He has made 15 senior appearances in all competitions this season, having returned from last season's loan spell with Kidderminster in non-league, while his three appearances under Barry Lewtas at U23 level came in September and October.

With Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all returning for the new season, plus the possible addition of another defender in the form of either Kabak on a permanent contract for Ibrahima Konate, it would be reasonable to think the 20-year-old might not be required when the 2021/22 campaign kicks off.

But that should not be off-putting to his long-term future just yet. Rather, that could have been the case this season had things gone to plan injury-wise - so another loan spell next season would simply put him back on track.

"I think a Championship loan next season would be the best idea for Williams," said Marcus Banks on the latest Agenda podcast from Blood Red.

"He has been playing out of necessity and he has performed relatively well.

"The loan system does not always work but Harvey Elliott is a prime example of it working perfectly after his fantastic season at Blackburn in a competitive league like the Championship.

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"Elliott is now returning to Liverpool rightly in the conversation for first-team football next season.

"Williams needs a move to the Championship - or even League One, just wherever he can get regular game time - with a club more suited to the time of his career and his development.

"A loan move or at least a move down to U23s football is almost nailed on because having him around the first-team squad has not been fair on his development."

Elliott moved on to seven goals and 11 assists this season in 41 games as Blackburn Rovers concluded their Championship season last weekend.

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Williams, clearly, is not as highly-rated as Elliott - few across the country are - but he is a good up-and-coming central defender whose qualities are obvious.

Putting him into the centre of a Championship backline would be more reflective of his current status and would benefit him long-term in developing his game.

Time will tell whether or not Williams is capable - as Elliott is - of making the step up to the Liverpool first-team full-time.

But a better indication of that will come next season, rather than making an assessment purely on this.