Is Brandon Williams ready to displace Ashley Young?

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Brandon Paul Brian Williams born in Manchester on the 3rd September 2000. Williams made his Under-18s debut as a substitute in the 4-2 defeat to Reading in the final league outing of 2016/17 season.  The defender blossomed into a regular starter for the young Reds, making 22 appearances across domestic competitions and in the UEFA Youth League. Williams has worked hard to add a real attacking edge to his game and became a key component of his style of play.  He made his Premier League  debut on 20 October 2019 against Liverpool at Old Trafford as a late substitute. With Ashley Young suspended and Luke Shaw injured, Williams was handed his first league start on 10 November 2019 against Brighton and put in a MOTM performance in United’s 3-1 win.

The question that needs to be asked is whether Williams is the likely replacement for the injured Luke Shaw and has done enough to replace Ashley Young who has been playing left back in Shaw’s absence. Solskjaer and his coaching team assess opponents on their strengths and weaknesses and plan accordingly. With the squad Solskjaer has at his disposal, Williams has definitely put his hand up and performed admirably in the left back position and is also versatile having played at full-back on either side but has recently forged a reputation largely a right-footed left-back, in the mould of United great, Denis Irwin. His strengths are cutting inside, making runs through midfield and likes to get forward on the overlap or underlap. Williams has quickly become a fan favourite, winning the fan’s MOTM award on his debut which can only encourage the youngster to press Ashley Young for the left back position in the senior squad. 

An away fixture at Sheffield United will be the next test for the Red Devils after the international break and will be a tricky game as the Blades have a good home record and are currently unbeaten in their last 5 Premier League games having shocked Arsenal with a 1-0 win and comprehensively beating Burnley 3-0 in their last home game. This good run of form has earned Sheffield Utd a 5th place position in the league right now. So far, Solskjaer has been willing to give his younger players an opportunity to get much needed game time and in my opinion, I think Williams will be part of the travelling squad to Bramall Lane but may find himself on the bench. I expect Young, if fully fit, to be chosen to play in this fixture. However, Williams has shown in the limited opportunities he has had so far, that he is definitely a contender to fill the position if Luke Shaw is not available. The fixtures come thick and fast in the December period and I do expect to see Williams given a lot more opportunities to start in games to come.

Author: TUD Author