Man Utd defender swims against tide as stance on departure before January deadline emerges

Man Utd full-back Brandon Williams Credit: Alamy
Man Utd full-back Brandon Williams Credit: Alamy

One out-of-favour Manchester United defender has made a decision about his immediate future that doesn’t align with some others in a similar scenario, according to a report.

Erik ten Hag has been reluctant to let go of too many options midway through his first season as Man Utd manager. The only players to have left this month so far have been Martin Dubravka, who was recalled by Newcastle, and Shola Shoretire, who has gone on loan to Bolton Wanderers.

Even though some other players haven’t been getting much gametime, Ten Hag wants to keep a healthy number of options available. For example, reports have indicated that he won’t be allowing Harry Maguire or Scott McTominay to head elsewhere.

But now, it is being claimed that one member of the first-team squad could yet try and secure a departure before the January transfer window closes.

According to the Manchester Evening News, forgotten full-back Brandon Williams is “open” to leaving the club on loan this month.

Williams has only played once this season, coming on in a Carabao Cup fourth-round win over Burnley in December. Injury issues were holding him back before then.

Even now he has shaken them off, he faces a battle to convince Ten Hag he is worthy of his place. The right-footed Williams can cover in either full-back position, but is effectively third choice either way.

At left-back, Ten Hag will prefer either Luke Shaw or Tyrell Malacia. On the right-hand side, meanwhile, he has Diogo Dalot and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Therefore, Williams must be struggling to see a way into the side for himself. Hence, the 22-year-old might consider asking to go somewhere else to get back into a rhythm on the pitch.

Brandon Williams ready for next loan move

Williams spent the 2021-22 season on loan at Norwich City. Although he played 29 times for them, it wasn’t as productive a spell as everyone hoped.

But there is a recognition again that Williams might be better off away from Old Trafford in the short term. Even his long-term prospects are now less bright than when he was first emerging.

The report does not mention any clubs who might be interested in taking Williams for the rest of the season. He will be hoping a good opportunity arises so that his career doesn’t stall further.

Man Utd still have the academy graduate under contract until 2024, with the option of a further year. For them to extend his stay, he will have to prove he is worthy of competing at a decent level.

The next six months could be important in that regard. Now, it is over to his representatives to find a potential destination for him.

There is no confirmation in the report that Man Utd would definitely agree to a loan exit for Williams. But since he hasn’t featured in the Premier League this season, it would seem like the fair thing to do.

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