Brandon Williams deserves a proper chance in pre-season under Ten Hag with Alex Telles faltering
Of the 17 players Manchester United currently have out on loan, only one has been playing all season at Premier League level.
By this measure, Brandon Williams should stand the best opportunity of taking a crack at Manchester United’s first team next season, and it is increasingly looking like he should at least get a chance.
Williams was United’s Luke Shaw alternative in 2019/20, before being moved aside for Alex Telles. The reasoning seemed logical at the time.
Telles was a more experienced player, capable of raising the bar offensively, regularly creating and even scoring goals for Porto. But since his £15.4 million move to Manchester United it just hasn’t worked out.
Telles’ one goal for United was spectacular, a volley against Villarreal, but aside, he has been a non-factor. His corner kick assist for Ronaldo against Norwich earlier this month was nice to see, but it was just his third assist of the season.
The creative side just isn’t there to satisfactorily offset Telles’ poor defending, which is becoming increasingly exposed the more he plays.
His defending for the first goal United conceded against Arsenal was amateurish, and United have quite an easy decision this summer to move the 29-year-old on, and give younger talent Brandon Williams a fresh chance.
Williams deserves shot in pre-season
Williams has played 26 games this season for Norwich, 23 of which have been as a starter. It has been a productive loan, which came with a steep learning curve.
When Williams arrived, Norwich were a mess. It wasn’t long before Daniel Farke was sacked and replaced with Dean Smith, and the Manchester United loanee has benefitted.
Williams is averaging 2.2 tackles per game and provided an assist earlier this year in a victory over Everton.
Smith told Norfolk Live: “I’d say he has improved and he is a very coachable player. Brandon has improved a hell of a lot and, you only have to speak to him yourself, he needed probably this season to get away from Manchester United and play regular games.”
It’s possible Erik ten Hag has his own plans for left-back and chooses to bring in a player, or promote teenager Alvaro Fernandez. But it is not unreasonable to suggest he may take interest in Williams, who is just 21.
Described as ‘coachable’ by Smith, Williams could be a quick learner under Ten Hag, and the Dutchman will take to a player who can follow his instructions, as opposed to ones who don’t listen.
Williams is also capable of playing at both left-back or right-back, and while Ten Hag may take a look at him and decide he is not up to standard, he will surely give the youngster a fair shot.
Considering the underwhelming and poor displays turned in by Telles recently, Williams can hardly do worse.
Players loaned out by Manchester United for 2021/22
- Nathan Bishop
Mansfield Town (Season long loan)
- Tahith Chong
Birmingham City (Season long loan)
- Di’Shon Bernard
Hull City (Season long loan)
- Facundo Pellistri
Alaves (Season long loan)
- Ethan Galbraith
Doncaster Rovers (Season long loan)
- Dylan Levitt
Dundee United (Season long loan)
- Andreas Pereira
Flamengo (Season long loan)
- James Garner
Nottingham Forest (Season long loan)
- Brandon Williams
Norwich City (Season long loan)
- Ethan Laird
Bournemouth (January to end of season)
- Teden Mengi
Birmingham City (January to end of season)
- Axel Tuanzebe
Napoli (January to end of season)
- Anthony Martial
Sevilla (January to end of season)
- Reece Devine
Walsall (January to end of season)
Rangers (January to end of season)
- Donny van de Beek
Everton (January to end of season)
- Matej Kovar
Burton Albion (January to end of season)