‘Respected…leads by example…excelled’: The exciting billing for emerging Portsmouth target eyed by Cardiff City and Preston North End

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Jordan Williams has emerged as a serious target for Pompey this summer as he leaves Barnsley as a free agent. Here’s what’s been said about a player respected by his peers and lauded for his potential.

‘He’s obviously doing something right if there is a little bit of noise around him as it means he is doing well for us.’

Former Barnsley boss Michael Duff amid Preston transfer talk (January 2023).

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‘I spoke to the gaffer about what we think. It’s a weird one. I probably wouldn’t say I am a centre-back or a wing-back. I am more of a right-back but we don’t play that.

‘The more I play the more natural it becomes. You get used to certain scenarios in games and, playing with players every week, you grow bonds. The whole backline have grown.’

Williams on his playing position (October 2023)

‘I am respected in the group and it's a good thing and I need to keep building on that and encouraging everyone and hopefully get the best of the team.

‘I probably do shout sometimes. But it's about the manner of how you shout and the way you use your words is the main thing. It's about how you say it and what you say.’

Williams on becoming captain (October 2023)

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‘He’s definitely got the respect of the changing room and the staff. He’s a quiet leader but sometimes they can be the most effective. He’s definitely stepped up and led by example.

Neil Collins on Willams’ captaincy (October 2023)

‘He’s done very well at centre-back. He’s probably had the hardest job because there have been a lot of changes there.

‘He’s helping the new players settle in. He’s still very, very eager to learn in that position. There’s a lot of potential there.

‘Jordan played almost every game at right wing-back last season. Sometimes people forget that, not only did we lose the back three but we lost our right wing-back as well.

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‘He can’t get any taller but he can improve in the air and he’s working on that. He’s only had a few games there but, after 20 or 30, I think he will be a top centre-back.’

Collins on Williams’ switch in position (October 2023)

‘He has been beaten a few times in the air and you could say that’s because he’s playing centre-back.

‘Me and Jordan would both hold our hands up and say it’s not his biggest strength. The goal on Saturday comes from right wing-back.

‘What people are forgetting is Jordan won the free-kick for the winner. There is give and take.

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‘Jordan has been part of a team for the last 25 games which has been probably up there in the top two in the league. He brings so much.

‘He’s captain, he’s been here a long time and with that comes responsibility and scrutiny.

‘If the fans could see what Jordan does for this club, it is what they want from players. He’s a really level-headed person.

Neill Collins on playing Williams as central defender (Feb 2024)

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‘All five of the senior players leaving at the end of their contracts have served the club with distinction and can leave Oakwell knowing they made a difference on and off the field.

‘A special mention for Jordan, as a player he has been great, but as a captain and a leader he has really excelled. We wish them well for the future.’

Sporting director Mladen Sormaz as Williams’ exit is confirmed last month

‘I have had six amazing years at Barnsley, from the moment I signed until today, I have made so many memories that will stick with me forever. It’s such a shame we couldn’t end it on a high. It’s a been a rollercoaster of a time with never a dull moment.

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‘I have made friends for life and met some amazing people that have helped me grow as a footballer and a person. To be club captain was a huge honour. Thank you for everything.’

Williams’ message to Barnsley fans in May as he leaves club

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