Joe Williams explains what he has been told about getting into the Everton first-team

Joe Williams is held in high regard in the Everton academy.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo, Everton youngster Joe Williams has explained what he has been told by David Unsworth about getting into the first-team at Goodison Park.

When speaking about what he needs to improve to play senior football, Williams said: “Players like Barry, McCarthy, Gibson, Besic, everyone, they’ve all got high 80s and 90% for pass completion rates. So Unsay [Unsworth] has been telling me that he wants me to get 90s every single week, he even told me once that he wanted me to get 100! I’ve never really come close to 100 but he expects high standards. I feel like I am doing everything I can.”

Williams, a midfielder, has been urged to improve his ball retention and passing completion rate if he wants to get into the first-team any time soon.

Naturally a box-to-box player, the 19-year-old is held in high regard, and has been performing exceptionally well in the Under-21 ranks this term.

He has trained with the senior squad, and was named in a Europa League squad last season, but the youngster has still not made his senior debut yet.

As Roberto Martinez plays a brand of football which relies upon ball retention and possession, he needs his midfield players to be able to keep the ball to a top class level.

Williams has been told to reach a 90% pass completion rate in the Under-21 league if he is to match up with the current senior players, with the likes of Leon Osman and Ross Barkley averaging pass rates in the upper 80s.

Williams is sure to make his debut for Everton before too long, and the work he is doing with the Under-21s will set him up perfectly to be a success with the Toffees.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch