'Ryan Williams was stellar at Rotherham - Portsmouth have a winger who'll make big League One impact'

Rotherham Advertiser reporter Paul Davis delivers his verdict on Ryan Williams, after he signed for Pompey on a two-year deal.

Saturday, 29th June 2019, 6:30 am
Updated Monday, 1st July 2019, 9:10 pm

There’s no doubt in my mind Ryan Williams is a Championship-quality player.

He was stellar at Rotherham, particularly in his first season when we went up from League One.

His reputation for having a lot of injuries is very unfair.

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Ryan had a frustrating two-year spell at Barnsley where he had a pubis injury, which went undiagnosed. It took a long time to sort out, but once it was he was fit and fine.

At Rotherham, he had one hamstring injury towards the end of his second season. Apart from that he was available the entire time.

He’s not an injury-prone player at all. He looks after himself and is very keen on his fitness.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 27:  Ryan Williams of Rotherham United celebrates victory with the trophy after the Sky Bet League One Play Off Final between Rotherham United and Shrewsbury Town at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 27: Ryan Williams of Rotherham United celebrates victory with the trophy after the Sky Bet League One Play Off Final between Rotherham United and Shrewsbury Town at Wembley Stadium on May 27, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

He’s very quick, very direct and when he spots a gap he goes through it.

There’s not always been enough end product from a player of his quality, I’d say. When Ryan’s on it, he’s really on it, though.

There’s a real turn of pace about him and he gets up and down the pitch.

I think he decided to leave Rotherham because he thought he’d have Championship options.

He got injured at the wrong time, though, and was out in January for about five weeks.

That meant he lost his momentum after doing very well in the first half of the season on the wing or as a 10.

Boss Paul Warne always said he was the player other managers would always mention after games. They were always impressed by him.

At one stage it looked like he could be going to a top-10 Championship club. That’s where people thought he was at.

The injury and not getting back into the side hampered him a bit on that front, though.

Rotherham had excellent wingers and Warne would always rotate them because the team had to be relentless runners not being the greatest side in the Championship.

Having said that, it frustrated them all as well because, of course, players want to play every game.

Of the four, though, I’d say Ryan was the most well-rounded talent. I think most Rotherham fans would say the same.

He’s a relaxed and had that laid-back Aussie thing going on, but he’s a good kid all-round and will have a laugh.

I’ve no doubt he’ll be a big threat in League One for Portsmouth - and he’ll do well there.