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Newcastle keeping tabs on highly-rated 20-year-old Man United starlet – A good move by Bruce?

Luton Town v Manchester United, ManU EFL Cup 22/09/2020. Manchester United defender Brandon Williams 33 during the EFL Cup match between Luton Town and Manchester United at Kenilworth Road, Luton, England on 22 September 2020. Editorial use only DataCo restrictions apply See www.football-dataco.com PUBLICATIONxNOTxINxUK , Copyright: xNigelxKeenex PSI-10626-0071

Why Newcastle signing Brandon Williams on loan would be a smart move

According to the Chronicle Live, Newcastle United are keeping close tabs on highly-rated Man United starlet Brandon Williams ahead of a potential loan move to Tyneside in the January window. 

Premier League rivals Southampton have also expressed an interest in signing the left-back on loan for the second half of the campaign. Williams has a contract at Old Trafford until 2024, with United making it clear that the youngster is only available on a straight loan option. (h/t Chronicle Live)

Profile

A youth exponent of Man United, Brandon Williams represented the Red Devils at U-18 and U-23 levels before making his senior debut in an EFL Cup tie against Rochdale back in September 2019.

He made his first start for the club against AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League and established himself as United’s first-choice left-back during the second half of the season due to Luke Shaw’s struggles with injuries. 

Williams earned rave reviews for his consistent displays over the course of an impressive breakthrough season at Old Trafford. The 20-year-old made 36 appearances in all competitions last term, playing a key role as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side finished 3rd in the Premier League and reached the semi-finals of the Europa League.

Brandon Williams of Manchester United battles for possession with Clinton Mata of Club Brugge during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg match between Club Brugge and Manchester United at Jan Breydel Stadium on February 20, 2020, in Brugge, Belgium. (Getty Images)

The England U-21 international, though, has struggled for game time this season following the arrival of Alex Telles. With Shaw also regaining his form and fitness, Williams is effectively the third-choice left-back in the pecking order.

Williams would add more depth to the Magpies’ backline

Newcastle roped in Jamal Lewis from Norwich City to bolster their left-back department. The Northern Irishman has quickly established himself as a regular fixture under Steve Bruce, featuring in all of the Magpies’ 10 opening league games so far. 

Indeed, Newcastle have every reason to be pleased with Lewis’ progress but they should be open to the prospect of providing him with some quality competition for his place in the side. With Paul Dummett and Matt Ritchie yet to make a comeback from their respective injuries, the Magpies can certainly do with more depth in that department.

Putting things into context, Newcastle completing a loan deal for Brandon Williams would offer some much-needed cover and quality at the back. With fixtures set to come thick and fast during the second half of the campaign, the inclusion of a talented starlet like Williams would allow Bruce the luxury to rotate his options effectively. 

Brandon Williams has emerged through the youth ranks of Manchester United (Getty Images)
Brandon Williams has emerged through the youth ranks of Manchester United (Getty Images)

Besides his ability to contribute at both ends of the pitch, Williams’ versatility to operate as a full-back on either side would hand a significant boost to Bruce. While Williams has largely featured in a left-back role at United, his right-footed nature makes him a natural operator down the right. 

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Verdict

Brandon Williams needs regular game time to keep progressing in the right direction, something that seems unlikely to happen at Man United this season. His prospects of playing week in week out in the Premier League certainly look better at Newcastle.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game.

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