Brendan Rodgers has confirmed that he tried to sign Swansea defender Ashley Williams during his time at Liverpool. The former Reds manager waxed lyrical about the centre-half's strengths and believes that he would be a major signing for any club currently established in the top four.
Williams has been an ever-present member in the Swansea team, which exceeded expectations under Rodgers and went on to finish in the top half of the table last season under Garry Monk. It has been a different experience this time around, with the Swans struggling to save themselves from relegation, which also led to Monk's departure midway through the season.
The Reds could do with a player of Williams' stature at this point, given their injury crisis at the back, with Martin Skrtel, Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez and Jon Flanagan all out of contention with injuries. Kolo Toure and Mamadou Sakho are the two fit players currently marshalling the back-line for the Reds, with Lucas Leiva also deployed at the back by manager Jurgen Klopp on occasions this season. Former Tottenham man Steven Caulker has been brought in to provide cover but is yet to start a single game thus far.
"He's a top, top centre-half. I've always felt he could play for one of the very top clubs in the league. He's been very loyal to Swansea. He's a wonderful player and always plays over 40 games a season — every season. He can defend, is strong and deals with all types of strikers. What makes him stand out is that he's immaculate on the ball. He's a massive player for Swansea," Rodgers told Sky Sports, when speaking on Monday Night Football.
"I wanted to take him to Liverpool. He's one of the few breeds in that he's a leader — managers and coaches are looking for leaders on the field and in the game. You saw it tonight, when the ball goes into the box he gets his head on it. Every single game he's up for. I think he's an incredible player," he added.
Jamie Carragher, who was at the show, acquiesced with Rodgers in this context and expressed his bewilderment that no other team had come in for the player, who had played more than 150 games for Swansea at the top level. Rodgers had already expressed his frustration at Liverpool's failure to sign Dele Alli ahead of Tottenham Hotspur.