Photo: Identical hair & physique: Liverpool have “new Virgil van Dijk” in the making

Liverpool have high hopes for young defender Rhys Williams.

The stature and even the hair are instantly recognisable.

Squint your eyes watching Rhys Williams in a Liverpool shirt and you would believe it is Virgil van Dijk marshalling the line.

Williams, 18, is one of Liverpool’s top academy talents and the club hope the similarities with Van Dijk are more than simply aesthetic.

Van Dijk is now regarded as one of the world’s best defenders since clinching his move to Anfield last season.

Williams has told the club’s official website that the coaches are tutoring him with video of the Dutchman to fine tune his game.

He said: “I’m just taller than him! But his stature is just ridiculous.

“He’s so calm and confident in what he does. You don’t see him panicking in big situations. He’s just a great role model for everyone.

“I watch all the Liverpool games and he’s the main player I focus on. If they do analysis after the game and it’s on him, then I’ll record it or watch it there and then just to see if I can take bits of his game into mine.”

Williams has played mostly for the under-18s and a little for the under-23s this season.

He has a long way to go, but the Reds’ coaching staff clearly have high hopes for him, and rightly so.