Thursday, September 29, 2022

Southampton Eyeing A Loan Move For This Manchester United Star: Should Ole Let Him Go?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, The Sun has revealed that Southampton are eyeing a January loan move for Manchester United full-back Brandon Williams. It is understood that the Saints failed to sign him last summer but are ready to revive their interest in the Red Devils defender after he lost his first-team spot at Old Trafford this season (via The Sun).

Williams’ Progress At Manchester Has Come To A Standstill

Williams has endured a frustrating season in English football as he has failed to get regular game time under the stewardship of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thus far. He has only participated in three matches for Man United this term, picking up one assist, one yellow card and receiving 211 minutes of playing time in the process across all fronts.

The 20-year-old had a far more productive campaign in the last term when he made 36 appearances for the Red Devils, registering one goal, one assist and six yellow cards in various competitions. The Crumpsall-born left-back caught the eye with his performances in Europe last season as he averaged 2.1 tackles, 1.3 key passes, 1.4 clearances, 0.8 key passes and 1.8 dribbles per game in the UEFA Europa League. He also distributed the ball accurately from the left flank after he made 85.8% of his attempted passes in European football (stats via whoscored).

The lack of first-team opportunities is clearly hampering Williams’ development at the Theatre of Dreams, so he could be tempted to go out on loan when the transfer window reopens in January as he looks to gain more playing minutes at the highest level.

Southampton eyeing a loan move for Manchester United's Williams who is seen in the picture
Brandon Williams of Manchester United looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on March 08, 2020, in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

What Does The English Full-Back Offer On The Pitch?

Williams can use his quickness and agility to make some driving runs with the ball on the left flank. He has also transformed himself into a capable defender at the back as he hardly gets beaten in a 1v1 footrace with the opposition. However, the English youngster is still quite inexperienced at the top level and is prone to making mistakes in defence. Plus, the arrival of Alex Telles earlier this year has stagnated his progress at Old Trafford which is why he needs to seek a move to a new club in January.

Should The Red Devils Sanction Williams’ Loan Departure This Winter?

At the moment, Williams finds himself behind Telles, Luke Shaw and Axel Tuanzebe in Solskjaer’s pecking order. Unless there is an injury crisis, it isn’t easy to see how he can earn a place back in the Man United first XI. The Red Devils cannot afford to hamper his growth by keeping him out of the senior team picture for the remainder of this campaign.

Man United have enough strength in depth to cope with his temporary loss. Therefore, Solskjaer should consider letting Williams leave on loan so that he can come back as a much-improved version of himself next summer.

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