Southampton have been linked with a loan move for Manchester United full-back Brandon Williams ahead of the January transfer window, and manager Ralph Hasenhuttl looks to have dropped a big hint about him potentially joining.
According to The Athletic, the 20-year-old is the Saints’ top target ahead of the winter transfer window, with the South Coast club having also targeted him in the summer before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer blocked his move.
The United academy graduate has struggled for game time, perhaps due to the signing of fellow left-back Alex Telles from Porto, having made just one substitute appearance in the top-flight so far this season.
Therefore, a January exit could well be on the cards for the £9.9 million-rated defender, as he surely won’t be content playing reserve football with the Red Devils, when he could be potentially challenging for a spot in Southampton’s first team.
Hasenhuttl has certainly hinted that the club could move for Williams in January, as he recently said:
“If you want to do something then we do something for the future like we did in the last window in January with Kyle Walker-Peters.
“Maybe a player brought in on loan and then give him half a year’s chance to show if he’s good enough for us and then we can decide in the summer if we want to buy him.”
Therefore, it would not be a surprise to see the Saints replicate the deal they did for Walker-Peters with Williams.
The right-back originally joined on loan from Tottenham Hotspur in the January window before making the move permanent in the summer, having impressed Hasenhuttl during his stay.
If Williams could do the same, perhaps he would be convinced to make his stay with the South Coast club permanent, where he could establish himself as the ideal successor to Ryan Bertrand, with the 31-year-old’s contract with the Saints set to expire at the end of the season.
Certainly, it could be argued that Hasenhuttl is low on left-back options, with just young Jake Vokins available as a back-up to Bertrand at the moment, so a move for Williams in January seems a sensible move for all parties.