Manchester United see a lot of young prospects come and go. But some look more destined for success than others.
When it came to Ro-Shaun Williams, the centre-back was expected to make it at Old Trafford. After all, back in 2015 Nicky Butt tipped the then-17-year-old as a future first-team star.
As reported by the Metro, Butt said of Williams and Axel Tuanzebe: “The lads at the back were brilliant. They proved to me they are more than capable of playing at a high level.”
Given Williams’ impressive pace and defensive nous, it was no surprise to see Butt sing his praises. What was surprising was his 2019 move to Shrewsbury. So what has happened with a player once tipped to form the bedrock of United’s back-line alongside Tuanzebe?
The League One side were shipping goals at an alarming rate before Williams arrived. But his United class shone from the outset and his new club went on a five-match undefeated streak once he joined the starting line-up.
From 23rd in League One when Williams arrived, his new side finished that campaign in 18th. This time round, they were 16th before football’s postponement.
The former United prospect has made 50 appearances to date and has managed two assists.
We will never know if Williams could have made it at Old Trafford. The presence of Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Tuanzebe means chances were always going to be few and far between.
Williams left to play football and he is making a real difference in the third tier. Considering his age, he could yet fulfil his potential and make United regret their decision to wave goodbye.