clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Welsh international midfielder incoming - what can we expect from him? Palace fanzine reacts

New, comment

Sunderland are on the cusp of signing Welsh international midfielder Jonny Williams from Crystal Palace on a one year loan. What can we expect from him? Here to give us some perspective is Palace fan Rob from Fanzine ‘Five Year Plan’.

Crystal Palace v Sunderland - Premier League
Jonny Williams takes a throw in v Sunderland
Getty Images

RR: So, Jonny Williams. I have to admit that I don't know much about him really. What can you tell us Sunderland fans about what we can expect from him?

FYP: Jonny Williams started out in Palace's youth team, and graduated into the first team at the same time as Wilfried Zaha. They were both exciting prospects that Palace fans really felt would become integral parts in our squad. Williams's calmness on the ball, his vision and his attacking intentions made him a pleasure to watch - he looked like a player beyond his years.

You'll get a player who works tirelessly, is great on the ball, is always ready to receive it and looking for passes, and is positive in his approach both on and off the pitch. He's a lovely character anyway, but he's a popular player too. With a run of games, he'll make things happen.

RR: Why hasn't it quite worked out recently for him at your club?

FYP: His injury issues have been quite difficult for him to overcome. These haven't always been the same ones -- so it's not recurring injuries that have been problematic. But his size, and his willingness to run with the ball and take on opponents, makes him a very easy target.

After his trip to the Euros with Wales last year, Williams came back to Palace with the intention to push for first team football -- only to then get crunched with a horror tackle in the club's final pre-season fixture. The ankle injury he suffered took months to recover from.

Bromley FC v Crystal Palace: Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images

RR: He's had a few loan spells with Championship clubs in recent times. What's the overall feeling about what he gained from spending time away from Palace?

FYP: His loan spells have been a bit hit and miss. Stints at Nottingham Forest and MK Dons didn't really work out. But Williams was received really well at Ipswich Town.

With the right set-up and support from the managers that sign him, he'll produce the kind of performances that will endear him to your fans.

RR: He's still very young - do you think that this loan spell will be with a view to move him on down the line, or do you hope he returns back to Palace one day as a more rounded, experienced player? I notice he's only just signed a contract extension in June.

FYP: In a dream scenario, Williams would help Sunderland to win promotion and then return to Palace to stake a real claim at first team football.

However, there is an overriding fear among Palace fans that the injury record -- and his loan spells -- might have seen to him having much hope of making an impact at the club.

That said, because he'd played so many games for the club at such a young age, it's often forgotten that he's just 23 years old!

RR: Some Sunderland supporters might meet this deal with trepidation - what would you say to anyone that isn't sure about how they should feel about our club signing Williams?

FYP: Ask Ipswich fans what they think of him and his ability. His popularity at Palace and Ipswich is for a good reason. With games under his belt he should be a great addition. He deserves success after his injury difficulties.