Luke Williams ready to return for Hartlepool United after a year on the sidelines
According to Craig Hignett, when Luke Williams is fit “he’ll be the best player in the National League.”
The 26-year-old signed for Pools last summer but missed the entire 2018-19 campaign due to a serious knee injury which required two operations.
But that hasn’t stopped Hignett hyping Williams up after he agreed a new contract at the Super 6 Stadium last month.
The attacking midfielder first caught the attention of Poolies during an impressive, albeit brief loan spell at the club during the 2013-14 season where he netted twice in seven League Two appearances.
Now, the player is thought to be fit and ready to play once again after taking part in all pre-season training sessions for the past two and a half weeks.
“Luke wants to play, he’s done every day in pre-season without any set-backs, but I’m not letting him play,” said the Hartlepool manager.
“He’s joining in with all the football and wants to play but I’m just being cautious because when he plays, I want him firing. I don’t want him feeling his way into games, I want him to be fully there and be the Luke Williams everyone knows.
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“When you see him play, I’ve seen it in training, he’s ridiculous and it looks effortless. He’s a special talent so I really want to make sure with him.
“We’ve waited that long for Luke so I’m not eager to push him out there to be honest.
“It’s frustrating for him and us because when he’s fully fit, he’ll be the best player in the National League.
“I understand his frustrations and he keeps saying to me saying he needs games but I don't want to risk him if I don’t have to.
“We’ll probably give him another week more to see how that goes and we’ll get him playing at some point before the start of the season.
“Luke doesn’t need a lot of games with the way he plays, he’s such a good footballer that if we can get two games into him before the season starts, that’ll be fine for him.”