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Southampton leading the chase for Brandon Williams loan

by Colm Murphy

Southampton are favourites to take Brandon Williams on loan in the upcoming season according to Jonathan Shrager.

In an update from last week’s report, Southampton are confirmed by Shrager to still hold their long standing interest in Williams, and seem to be leading the chase for his signing.

In a bid to get more playing time for Williams, who struggled to get off the bench in the past season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is now willing to allow him to go on loan after previously blocking a move in January.

Having been chasing Williams since the summer of 2020, Southampton’s persistence and desire to obtain him on loan speaks well of Ralph Hasenhüttl’s opinion of the young full back.

However, as reported by Laurie Whitwell from The Athletic last summer, United’s request for a guarantee of games from Southampton proved to be an issue.

Looking forward to a potential loan for the upcoming season, it is important for United to ascertain if the topic of game time remains an issue.

While Southampton’s long held interest in Williams is a positive sign, looking deeper into their squad does raise concerns of where exactly he will fit.

At right-back Southampton have the 24 year old Kyle Walker-Peters, a young full-back himself, who Southampton shelled out £12 million for last summer. Becoming an ever present in Southampton’s side last season with 35 appearances, Walker-Peters has earned large praise from the Southampton faithful.

As a result, it will be hard for Williams to overtake his place at right-back, especially as Southampton will be more committed to developing a player they own rather than a loanee.

Switching to the left side, Ryan Bertrand has been a stalwart in The Saints’ side for the past seven seasons, at times captaining the club. What is good news for Williams’ prospects, though, is that Bertrand is being heavily linked with a move to Leicester City – a move which could greatly benefit Williams’ chances of playing time under Hasenhüttl.

However, Southampton are also linked with a permanent solution to fill Bertrand’s void in the form of a £12 million signing of 23 year old Romain Perraud of Stade Brestois 29.

Similar to Walker-Peters on the right, this is a cause for concern in regards to Williams’ potential playing time.

A £12 million signing is not small change for a club like Southampton and they will be more inclined to want to develop their own young player rather than United’s. This would leave Williams as back up for both right and left-back, feeding on scraps for playing time.

Therefore, despite Hasenhüttl being a top manager to learn from and holding a keen interest in Williams, a loan to Southampton may prove not to be the best move for the United academy graduate, swapping one bench for another.

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