St Johnstone’s George Williams ready to make debut at Celtic Park

© Getty
George Williams.

St Johnstone loan player George Williams is ready to make a belated debut against Celtic on Sunday.

The arrival of the young Welsh winger boosts a Perth squad depleted by injury and the return of speed merchant Michael O’Halloran to Rangers at the turn of the year.

An ill-timed hamstring injury delayed his arrival from Fulham but he has had two training sessions with his new teammates under his belt.

Williams (22), who secured the first of his international caps for Wales after stepping in for Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale, is eager to hit the ground running and help turn the fortunes of Tommy Wright’s side.

“The manager spoke to me a lot about coming here,” said Williams.

“He was very keen to bring me to the club.

“I liked what he had to say. Hearing how keen he was to get me made it feel right and I can’t wait to get started.

“Hopefully, I will bring pace, creativity and goals to the team and we can pick up results.

“My game is all about pace. I can play through the middle and get in behind people or I can play out on the wing and create.

“Scoring goals and creating them is what I’m all about so hopefully I can do well for the team while I’m here.”

Williams admits he is excited about the prospect of pulling on a Saints jersey at Celtic Park this weekend.

And he will see a couple of familiar faces in the Hoops squad.

“I played with Moussa Dembele and Patrick Roberts in the Fulham youth team, so I know them well,” said Williams.

“They have both come up here and done really well so when the chance to come to St Johnstone arose I knew this was a great opportunity for me.

“I spoke to a few people about Scotland and it was all very positive, although I’m waiting until after the game this weekend before I speak to Moussa and Patrick.

“Scottish football has been great for the pair of them. It has given them the platform to show what they can do.

“Playing for Celtic, they are obviously getting a chance in the Champions League as well, which has been great for their careers,” added Williams.

“They have had loads of game time and are playing at a good level so hopefully it will do the same for me.

“I want to play a lot of football and do well for St Johnstone.”

Williams was posted missing from defeats from Motherwell and Hearts but is hoping to provide struggling Saints with a missing spark.

“It has taken longer than I would have liked to be here but I picked up a hamstring injury just before I was due to come up,” he said.

“So I had to get that right before travelling up. It’s fine now and I will do a full week of training.

“You can’t get a better game to start off with than Celtic. Everyone has told me it will be a brilliant game to come in to.

“I’ve heard that stadium-wise and atmosphere-wise, this is one of the best places in the world to play football.

“I want to play in the big games. It will be tough but you want to test yourself against the best teams.

“Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen are obviously the top sides in Scotland so you want to be playing in games against them and showing what you can do.”

Williams is seeking to recapture the form which took him into the international set-up.

“I was only 18 when I picked up my first Wales cap. I replaced Gareth Bale in the squad and made my debut,” he recalled.

“People always ask me about it but it was just in a friendly against Holland.

“He is one of the best players in the world so you learn so much from even watching him in training.

“I have got seven caps now, which has been great, but I have had a few injuries along the way.

“I got a cruciate ligament injury when I was 20 and missed a year, which is tough, but it is part of football and you just have to get on with it.”