Ryan Giggs set to hand Neco Williams his first start for Wales

Ryan Giggs set to hand Liverpool youngster Neco Williams his first start for Wales against Bulgaria after full-back impressed in win over Finland

  • Ryan Giggs has handed 18 players a Wales debut since his appointment as coach
  • Wales are unbeaten in their last seven games and have won three in a row
  • Giggs is blooding the next generation and securing results at the same time
  • In Thursday’s Nations League win over Finland, Giggs started Dylan Levitt

Ryan Giggs has handed 18 players a Wales debut since his appointment as successor to Chris Coleman in January 2018 and he is set to continue to give youth its chance.

Wales are unbeaten in their last seven games and have won three in a row with Giggs blooding the next generation and securing results at the same time.

In Thursday’s Nations League win over Finland, Giggs started with Manchester United’s Dylan Levitt and introduced Neco Williams and Ben Cabango off the bench.

Neco Williams of Liverpool is in contention for his first start against Bulgaria on Sunday

The young trio were the latest to graduate to Giggs’ Wales side and Williams of Liverpool is in contention for his first start against Bulgaria on Sunday afternoon.

Williams turned down interest from England – who he qualifies for through his grandparents – to commit to Wales. Boss Giggs said: ‘It was a fantastic debut from Neco. He came on and gave us real energy and he’s shown his quality in training. He’s definitely given me a problem with selection.

‘It’s a good problem to have. We’re really happy with Neco and he’s in my thoughts with regards to starting. Confidence is high because of the three wins and I’m really pleased with the momentum.’

Wales have a wealth of young talent coming through and Giggs, frankly, is spoilt for choice.

Ryan Giggs has handed 18 players a Wales debut since his appointment in January 2018

Chelsea’s Ethan Ampadu, who favours a midfield role but started at centre-half in the 1-0 victory in Helsinki, is another. The 19-year-old spent last season on loan at German side RB Leipzig.

‘Ethan has played in midfield. We have Chris Mepham and Joe Rodon missing and I wanted to try Ethan at centre-half because he does give you a different option with how comfortable he is on the ball,’ said Giggs. ‘I was really impressed. He brings calmness, he gets us up the pitch, and he’s got composure on the ball. I haven’t really pigeonholed a position for him – he can play in defence or midfield.’ Ampadu has been linked with a loan to Fulham, but Giggs believes he could benefit from a stint at Frank Lampard’s Chelsea who have splashed the cash this summer.

Veteran defender and new arrival Thiago Silva is a man Giggs thinks Ampadu can learn from.

Williams turned down interest from England – who he qualifies for through his grandparents

‘He’s been a quality centre-half and you can only learn from someone like that,’ Giggs said of the Brazilian. ‘When you see a player like that in training and games you can only learn from it. Ethan definitely will along with the other talented players at Chelsea.

‘I want all my players to be playing regularly, but that sometimes isn’t the case. It’s a decision for Ethan. I’ve talked to him a lot about that. I think last year was maybe a little bit different as he had injuries, but you could see he was outstanding from the way he played against Tottenham in the Champions League. Nothing fazes him, he’s a quality player, and he just needs to keep fit now.

‘He will get minutes wherever he is.’




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