Geraint Williams hopes Emyr Huws can unlock ‘untapped potential’ at Ipswich Town
Geraint Williams hopes Ipswich Town can unlock the ‘untapped potential’ of Emyr Huws following his permanent switch to Portman Road.
Ex-Blues midfielder Williams worked closely with the prodigious Huws during his five-year spell as Wales U21 manager, handing the Manchester City starlet his Young Dragons debut in March 2013.
Llanelli-born Huws went on to make the senior breakthrough for his country the following year, but his club career never really got off the ground. There were several loans, an injury-plagued spell at Wigan, while Neil Warnock didn’t fancy him at Cardiff.
The 23-year-old took a pay-cut to join Town on loan back in January, quickly became a fans’ favourite and has penned a four-year deal at Portman Road after owner Marcus Evans sanctioned a £1m transfer fee.
“This is now a great opportunity for Emyr to settle down at a very good club and show people what a very good player he is,” said Williams, who made more than 200 appearances for Ipswich during the ‘90s and has remained living in the town ever since.
“There’s fantastic potential there, but you have to say, at the moment, it’s still untapped potential.
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“I worked with him in the Under-21s and the thing that impressed me most was that he always stayed behind to ask questions.
“He wanted to learn and improve, while too many young players just turn up, put their boots on for an hour-and-a-half then go home. He thinks about the game.
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“He’s got a lovely left foot, loves to get on the ball and pass, while physically he’s strong – really he’s got all the attributes you need to be a successful modern midfield player. I told Chris Coleman about him and he’s ended up being used quite a lot by the national team.
“He’s had a couple of lean years in terms of game-time at club level though. His career has stalled at an important time and that’s why it’s vitally important that he plays regularly now.
“To be fair, he recognised that and took a pay cut to make the loan move happen in January. That’s what I always tell young players; ‘just concentrate on improving and playing and things like contracts and money then look after themselves’.
“Hopefully Mick McCarthy and Terry Connor will be the ones to finally get the best out of Emyr because he’s undoubtedly got a lot of talent.”