Brandon Williams has improved "a hell of a lot" during Norwich loan, says Smith
Norwich City manager Dean Smith believes Manchester United loanee Brandon Williams has improved “a hell of a lot” since his move to the Canaries.
The 21-year-old joined the promoted side towards the end of August on a season-long loan in the quest to get regular first team minutes in the Premier League.
Despite amassing 50 first team appearances for the Red Devils prior to the start of this season, the England Under-21 international faced a tall order getting regular minutes at Old Trafford.
Williams only played four times in the Premier League last season and with Luke Shaw, Alex Telles, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot ahead of him in the full-back pecking order, a loan move for the academy graduate made sense.
The youngster has racked up 27 appearances during his time in Norfolk, 21 of which have been starts in the top-flight.
Despite Dean Smith’s side sitting bottom of the table and edging closer to relegation, the move has proven a beneficial one for Williams.
The former Aston Villa manager also believes that Williams’ time away from United has aided his development.
Smith told Norfolk Live: “I’d say he has improved and he is a very coachable player. And I think, like most of the loans that we have got here, the biggest compliment I can give them is that they feel like Norwich City footballers, and they have embraced being at Norwich City.
“I think that’s really important because you look at the size of the clubs that both Brandon [Williams] and Billy [Gilmour] have come from, Mathias [Normann] has come from Russia, Ozan [Kabak] from Germany, but they’ve embraced being Norwich City footballers. I think that’s a big plus, not just for them but for our football club as well.
“But 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.”
Williams was ineligible to face his parent club in yesterday’s 3-2 win for United, which was settled by a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick.
When asked if he felt Williams could break into United’s first-team next season, Smith replied: “That’s not a question for me, that’s a question for the Manchester United manager. Whoever that may be.”
Williams has already cast doubt over his long-term Red Devils future by revealing he wants assurances of first team playing time ahead of returning for pre-season.