JORDAN Williams is growing into the captaincy role and can become a ‘top centre-back’, says Barnsley head coach Neill Collins.

Williams, who turns 24 later this month, took over the captain’s armband from Liam Kitching who was sold last month. Collins told the Chronicle: “Jordan has grown into being a captain very, very well.

“He’s definitely got the respect of the changing room and the staff.

“He’s a quiet leader but sometimes they can be the most effective. He’s definitely stepped up and led by example.”

Williams, who has played 162 games for the Reds since signing in 2018 from Huddersfield Town, is out of contract at the end of the season and has been linked with a move away in previous windows.

He has mainly been a right wing-back for the Reds, including all of last season, but has been used on the right of the back three this campaign after the departure of all of last season’s starting centre-backs.

Collins said: “He’s done very well at centre-back. He’s probably had the hardest job because there have been a lot of changes there.

“He’s helping the new players settle in.

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“He’s still very, very eager to learn in that position.

“There’s a lot of potential there.”

Williams is shorter than most centre-backs but adds extra pace as well as an ability to bring the ball out of defence.

Collins said: “Jordan played almost every game at right wing-back last season. Sometimes people forget that, not only did we lose the back three but we lost our right wing-back as well.

“He can’t get any taller but he can improve in the air and he’s working on that. He’s only had a few games there but, after 20 or 30, I think he will be a top centre-back.”