With the Premier League season over, Manchester United’s players have been reflecting on a tumultuous yet rewarding campaign.
Brandon Williams is one player with a lot to smile about. Last year he had not made his debut, and did not even go on pre-season tour with the club.
Then Luke Shaw suffered an injury in the third game of the season, and with Diogo Dalot also on the sidelines, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made the bold call to promote Williams, and start phasing out veteran Ashley Young.
By time we reached January, Williams had done enough for United to sanction Young’s departure.
United needed a reliable back-up for Shaw, and at times this season Williams showed reasons why he should be first choice.
Shaw eventually reclaimed his spot, and Williams’ end to the season wasn’t perfect, but he saved one of his best performances of the campaign for the final day against Leicester.
Williams posted a message to his social media last night looking back at the season just gone. He said he would not have believed what lay in store for him if he was told a year ago.
While everybody was tipping Mason Greenwood as a breakthrough player a year ago, Brandon Williams was only an outsider to make it into the first team.
It seems crazy to think that Williams’ season began on August 6 last year in a EFL Trophy win with the under-23s against Rotherham.
He has surpassed expectations including his own, and this season he has amassed 38 first team appearances.
17 of these have come in the Premier League, 11 of which are starts, and the one goal he scored away at Sheffield United sparked a fightback which led to United gaining a crucial point.
The injury to Luke Shaw means Williams will get chances to add to his appearances in the upcoming Europa League, and with the chance to win silverware in United’s grasp, his dream season may have plenty left in it.
Next season Williams will feel like he has it all to prove all over again, but we only expect him to get better.
If Williams can keep on going and has a successful second season, then a place at Euro 2021 with England is not out of the question. That may not have even entered his mind at this point, but the way Williams’ stock has risen over the past 12 months, you cannot rule it out.
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