Brandon Williams proves he is the real deal
Brandon Williams showed with his impressive performance against Chelsea that he is more than ready to make the left-back position his own across all competitions.
After positive displays in the Europa League against AZ Alkmaar and Partizan Belgrade, Williams was rewarded with his first start for the senior side on home soil.
He was up against talented winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, who has been a revelation for Chelsea since coming back from injury.
But, in the biggest game of his career to date, Williams showed no signs of backing off and giving the winger too much respect, he was aggressive and on the front foot.
Speaking about how Williams fared, Solskjaer spoke to the clubs official website after the game and said: “Results will give players confidence but when you give young lads like Brandon Williams the experience he got tonight – and the kid was again outstanding – it’s only going to help them.”
The 19-year-old showed in the 47th minute that he isn’t afraid to mix things up, after he flung Hudson-Odoi over the advertising boarding’s into the crowd.
Playing away at Stamford Bridge and against the pacey Hudson-Odoi, Williams wasn’t afraid to drive forward and get his team on the front foot in possession, knowing that he had protection behind him with the three centre backs.
He wants to gallop forward and create chances and be an attacking outlet for his side.
Playing in a game that had a frantic tempo, Williams’ composure on the ball was a real highlight, he never panics and aimlessly hoofs the ball forward, he is always looking to retain possession, with a focus on passing with purpose.
When Ashley Young came on with 10 minutes left it was Williams who was moved forward into the wide position after Solskjaer changed the formation to a 4-2-3-1 when bringing on Martial for Lindelöf in the 66th minute.
Williams finished the game on the right wing drawing a late crucial foul out of Kovacic to waste precious seconds and give his team a breather.
Williams completed 24 out of the 30 passes attempted, made 3 clearances, 2 interceptions and won 2/2 tackles.
Those two tackles were perfectly excecuted, just shy of the hour mark it looked like Hudson-Odoi had got away from Williams, but the academy graduate showed great recovery speed to get back in position and produce a perfeclty timed sliding tackle.
In the 75th minute, Williams faced being outnumbered with Pedro and Reece James in the penalty area, the Spaniard opted to play in James, but yet again Williams got his decison making right and won United a goal-kick.
When will he next feature?
Fans will be hoping that Solskjaer is brave enough to start Williams in the clash against Bournemouth, but it wouldn’t come as a surprise if the Norwegian opts to go with Young.
Williams will most likely start against Partizan at Old Trafford on Thursday, with his Premier League start possibly coming three days later against Brighton at home, which is the last game before the latest international break.
Luke Shaw will probably be available for selection after the international break, but Williams’ form cannot be ignored, he should now be the first choice left-back.
It is up to Solskjaer to make that clear by starting the academy star in the Premier League.
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