Why Man United should make a renewed attempt to sign Inaki Williams
However, a move to Old Trafford never materialized for the 25-year-old and the Spanish speedster stayed put at his current club, signing a nine-year contract in August which contains a mammoth release clause of £119.5 million. (h/t Metro)
As per the report, Williams was on United’s radar in the summer, following his rich vein of form at Bilbao in the La Liga last season. He racked up an impressive 13 goals and 4 assists in 38 appearances to propel Athletic Bilbao to am 8th-place finish in the La Liga.
Born in Bilbao, Basque Country, an autonomous community in Northern Spain, Inaki Williams started his career at lower division club Pamplona before joining Athletic Bilbao in the youth ranks.
After impressing for the reserve team in the Segunda Division B, Williams broke into the first-team picture in the 2014-15 season, largely featuring as a substitute.
The 25-year-old hasn’t looked back since then and has established himself as one of the mainstays of his club’s attack over the past four seasons, consistently racking up impressive numbers in terms of goals and assists.
Capped once by Spain at the senior international level, Williams boasts of a tally of 50 goals and 27 assists in 207 appearances for Bilbao in all competitions till date, returns which are quite promising, considering that he broke into the team at a very young age.
To put things into perspective, Man Untied should look to reignite their interest in the La Liga speed demon in January to bolster their attacking options even further during the mid-season trading period.
Their interest in the 25-year-old never came to fruition this summer and, while they might have to pay a lot more to secure his services in January after the player committed his future with a long-term deal at Bilbao, the Red Devils should not hesitate to go back in the market for the versatile striker.
The mammoth release clause in the Spaniard’s new contract is likely to be a stumbling block for United but they will be hoping to iron out an agreement for a fee much lower than that.
A versatile attacker capable of playing as a centre-forward and also as a winger on either flank as a part of the forward line, Williams is a sharp and agile player noted for his unbelievable pace, incredible acceleration, quick feet, solid upper body strength.
The Spaniard combines his ability to beat defenders with his technical abilities on the ball, intelligent movement and slick link-up play to make an impact in the final third, attributes which make him a tailor-made fit for Ole Gunnar Solskajer’s philosophy at Old Trafford.
The likes of Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford hasn’t been able to make a big impact on a consistent basis at United, despite all the hype regarding their talent and potential.
Someone like Williams, who shares a lot of similar attributes with the duo, could certainly increase competition for places in the ranks, while also adding valuable depth to the squad.
Going by their performances early in the season, United still need to bring in reinforcements in multiple areas of the pitch even after spending a fortune on Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka this summer, with a new No.10 expected to be a priority in the next transfer window.
Williams won’t sort out that problem but he would certainly be a massive upgrade on players like Andreas Pereira and Jesse Lingard, both of whom have often been used in multiple attacking roles by Solskjaer ever since he took over towards the second half of the previous campaign.
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Keeping all the aforementioned factors in mind, it would make perfect sense for the Red Devils to make a renewed attempt to sign the La Liga star in January.