It was hardly a storming performance but Brandon Williams impressed on his first start for Manchester United. He deserves more chances to show the same qualities as the Reds prepare to face Newcastle at the weekend.
Williams should start vs Newcastle
Luke Shaw has been out injured for some time and there’s no need to rush him back ahead of the international window. Few want to see Ashley Young come back into the team.
Williams was United’s best player against AZ. His first-half showing lacked creativity or attacking intent, but he found his confidence in the second half and showed how he can threaten.
While United try to play with width through Martial, Rashford, James and others, they can’t break teams down. Newcastle will sit back and so the over-lapping runs of Williams could be important. It’s something Shaw nor Wan-Bissaka do much.
United’s best player against AZ Alkmaar?
“Top class, top performance for a full debut,” Solskjaer said of Williams after the game, via the club website.
“So happy for him. He’s got no fear, he’s brave, wants the ball, takes people on, tackles, he’s physical. So happy for him.”
His fearless nature can lead to problems. He was partly at fault for Luke Matheson’s equaliser against Rochdale last week. But so were others. Williams is quick, direct and productive – three things the rest of Solskjaer’s players are not.
It may be the perfect game for the 19-year-old to play in the Premier League. Newcastle’s attacking threat under Steve Bruce is extremely limited. United’s main focus has to be on increasing the creativity ability of their out-of-form side.
Youngsters can only impress in a consistent side
Solskjaer’s managed the Reds to only five wins in their last 22 games. Some things need to change. But what’s important is a consistent style and that’s not something that can be seen by United fans at the moment.
Williams will only continue to look good if he’s playing in a consistent side.
At Chelsea and Arsenal, there’s a regular team and an obvious style of play. United don’t have that. At those two London clubs, their young players are flourishing. At United, Greenwood is scoring but the others are struggling a little more. They need a real run and Solskjaer should stick with Williams.
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