Shaun Williams has been a key player for Portsmouth so far this campaign, featuring in 19 games for the club – but Steve Evans has claimed he could very nearly have ended up at Gillingham, as reported by Kent Online.
The 34-year-old has spent the last four seasons playing Championship football for Millwall and accumulated 180 games in the second tier during his time there. However, the Lions decided to part ways with the player in the summer and his solidity is now serving Pompey well a league lower.
He’s already become a mainstay in the side and could be a key player for Danny Cowley, as the Fratton Park outfit bid to climb the table and finally achieve a promotion back into the Championship.
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However, Williams could have been involved in a different kind of battle this season, as Steve Evans revealed to Kent Online that he is a player that he tried to snatch before he landed at Portsmouth.
The Gills are currently right near the bottom of the third tier table and perhaps the addition of someone like Williams could have aided the side in their battle to avoid the drop this campaign.
However, rather than end up with them, he went to Pompey and boss Evans has now revealed that the Fratton Park side offered ‘treble his money’ and he ended up there instead.
Evans said: “Shaun Williams (who also played in central defence) is a player I tried to bring in (at Gillingham) when Portsmouth offered treble his money, back when he came out of Millwall. He is a comfortable centre-back in the Championship.”
Williams could perhaps still do a job in the second tier – but right now, Portsmouth will be grateful he has chosen to drop down a league to help them and the Gills will be distraught to have missed out.
Steve Evans has struggled to get his Gillingham side playing this year and picking up results.
The addition of Williams would certainly have been a boost, as his experience could have helped them dictate games from the middle of the field or shore them up defensively.
They have the winter window on the horizon though to be able to start to strengthen their squad again. Evans himself has plenty of experience and if he can utilise the January window efficiently, they could steer clear of relegation.