Why Brandon Williams should start games regularly for Man United
Last month, Sky Sports claimed that Manchester United teenager Brandon Williams has signed a new contract until June 2022, with the option to extend for a further year.
The 19-year-old has caught the eye in recent weeks and was a late substitute in the weekend defeat at Bournemouth. It was his sixth appearance under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season and is one of the four academy graduates (Mason Greenwood, Tahith Chong and James Garner) the Norwegian tactician has handed senior debuts to since his arrival.
Brandon Williams has been around the first-team before and was a notable inclusion in the squad for the crucial Champions League knockout clash against Paris Saint-Germain last March. However, it’s high time Solskjaer starts handing the teenage starlet more starts as the season progresses.
Luke Shaw has been sidelined since late August with a hamstring injury that forced him off in the first half of United’s defeat to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.
With Shaw’s return from injury still unknown and Ashley Young not up to the standard to start games for the Red Devils, Williams deserves a run of games at left-back.
A full-back capable of playing on both flanks, Williams played a key role as the United’s youth team won the Premier League North title in April 2018. Last season, he was handed the captain’s armband for a number of Under-18 matches and demonstrated his attacking instincts by scoring three goals.
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In the senior team, the 19-year-old has impressed with a string of mature performances following his full debut for the club in 1-0 win against Partizan Belgrade.
While United try to play with width through Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Daniel James and others, they can’t seem to break teams down that tend to sit deep.
Against teams with low-block, the over-lapping runs of Williams could be important and that is something neither Shaw nor Aaron Wan-Bissaka seem to do much, as evident this season.
Given the current plight of Solskjaer’s team who are closer to the bottom three than the top four with just three Premier League wins this term, some things need to change. What’s important is a consistent style and that is not happening at the moment.
Williams will only continue to develop if he plays regularly and could even cement his place at left-back at the expense of the injury-prone Shaw if he shows potential.