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Martinez : Williams Has Top Flight Potential

Martinez : Williams Has Top Flight Potential

Swansea City manager Roberto Martinez has hailed defender Ashley Williams and has reveled he thinks that the 24 year old can flourish in the highest echelons of the game.

Highly sought after, Williams first appeared on the radar screens of football clubs the length and breadth of the country with his fine performances in an ever improving Stockport County side. On the brink of a call up to the Welsh national side last season, Swansea city moved quickly to sign the Tamworth born product.

Hatters boss Jim Gannon did express his bitter disappointment with loosing the influential defender at a crucial time in the Edgley Park clubs season but humbly conceded that he could not stand in William's way and gave his blessing to his former charge.

In a whirlwind 72 hours the former Hednesford Town player not only made his international debut against Luxembourg but made his much anticipated loan move to the Liberty Stadium. Two months later the loan move became a permanent switch and in the process Swansea City made Williams the highest transfer fee that the club shelled out costing what now seems a shrewed buy at £400,000.

It is at international level that his talents are becoming increasingly admired over with fine performances against the likes of Lucas Podolski, Roman Pavlyuchenko, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Arjen Robben the defender has shown a level of poise and confidence that defies his lack of experience.

Over the course of the last year Williams has been working hard to develop as a player something that has not gone unnoticed by his manager Roberto Martinez.

Martinez Told The WM:

'Without a doubt he would be able to handle himself in the Premiership.I saw him against both Russia and Germany and he already looks very confident, even at that level.Watching him playing against Germany, with the stature of players they have, the performance he put in is something to be proud of.'

"You don`t get many better strikers in the world than the ones he has played against in recent months. And, when you see him performing so well against world-class opposition, it shows you what he is capable of.The next challenge is to carry on progressing and to see how high he can go.But, at the moment, his performances for Wales are showing he can play at as high a level as he wants really."

"We just need to make sure we benefit from that experience at Swansea. Obviously the immediate priority is for Ashley to establish himself in the Championship.The key factor is the sort of character he is.Ashley is always willing to learn from mistakes and always wants to play better than his last game.He is a quick learner and he can control the situation in every game. He will react well to any challenge you give him and that is a great strength."

Date:Sunday October 19 2008
Time: 10:15AM

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