Home » Spain trip could present forgotten man Brandon Williams with the chance to win first-team spot

Spain trip could present forgotten man Brandon Williams with the chance to win first-team spot

by Ayantan Chowdhury

By the time the confrontational era of Jose Mourinho came to an end, things inside the dressing room had gotten very toxic with team morale at an all-time low.

Enter Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a man who improved morale and squeezed out positive results in the process which earned him a permanent Old Trafford hot seat.

In the end, his almost three-year reign did end without United adding any silverware, but there were quite a few memorable moments along the way.

Apart from a few smart recruitments, the Norwegian’s reign was characterised by the constant influx of academy talents into the first team squad.

One player who grabbed the headlines after his sudden emergence in the 2019-20 season was Brandon Williams, who managed to give Luke Shaw a run for his money for the fight to be the team’s left-back.

Emergence of Brandon

His minutes have since decreased, forcing the club to send him out on loan to Norwich City last season where he played 29 times in all competitions.

While the 22-year-old could not save the Canaries from relegation, the experience of playing day in and day out in a high-pressure environment did him a world of good.

But an injury suffered during pre-season meant he missed United’s pre-season tour and all the subsequent matches. But finally, Williams seems to be fit and ready to stake a claim in Ten Hag’s plans for the remainder of the season.

“[Brandon had] a bad injury, and really struggled but he is in the right direction,” the Dutch boss answered, when asked how the academy graduate is getting on with his recovery.

“He is in a good way, he is back on the pitch and he will return to team training next week. He will go with us to the training camp in Cadiz, he will be available for the team so [I’m] happy for him,” Ten Hag was quoted as saying by club media.

The Mancunian was spotted in training with the rest of his teammates and is in line for minutes in Spain against Cadiz and Real Betis if he can impress in training.

Deputy RB spot up for grabs

His return from injury could not have been timed better. While the left-back slot might be a bridge too far considering the presence of two top performers in Shaw and Tyrell Malacia, the deputy right-back slot is there for the taking.

So far this campaign, Diogo Dalot has started in all games except one where he was suspended after accumulating five yellow cards. Left back Malacia had to fill in that day and it was difficult for him to say the least.

However, with Williams being a right-footed player and his experience of playing in that position during his academy days and under Solskjaer, he could open up a pathway for himself into the manager’s plans.

The Red Devils are on the hunt for a right-back to deputise for Dalot and with Aaron Wan-Bissaka seemingly on his way out from the club in January, the academy graduate might just be the one to profit if the club fails to secure any of their preferred targets.

All Williams, who has won 50 caps for his boyhood club, has to do now is put his best foot forward and display his usual ferociousness and never-say-die attitude during the two Spain friendlies and he might just resuscitate his United career.

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