Brandon Williams was Manchester United’s breakthrough star last season.
With 36 first-team outings at just 19, the future looked extremely bright for the full-back. Yet this year he has slipped back into the shadows.
The outstanding form of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Luke Shaw, and the arrival of Alex Telles, mean Williams has been back with the U23s or on the bench. Yet the 20-year-old’s campaign could get a much-needed kickstart this month.
Williams is now seen as cover for Wan-Bissaka. The problem for the former is that the latter is one of the first names on United’s team-sheet.
But even Wan-Bissaka cannot play every single game, especially with United’s FA Cup and Europa League campaigns continuing alongside a title challenge.
Step forward Williams, who can get plenty of game time between now and June.
The youngster came off the bench in the FA Cup last week and may well start in the next round. Then there is the European double-header against Real Sociedad.
A very able deputy
Wan-Bissaka will burn out if he plays every game. And Williams will be fresh and ready to step in.
There is no doubting the United prospect’s talent. He shone when called on last season and quickly became a sensation.
He has also shown the professionalism to head back to second-string duty without complaint, impressing alongside United new boy Amad Diallo.
United will need fresh legs and focused minds as they bid to end the season on a high. He may have only managed seven first-team outings to date, but Williams could still have a major role to play as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer aims for silverware.