Southampton were linked with signing Manchester United left-back Brandon Williams on loan before the summer transfer window shut and following the injury to Ryan Bertrand recently, it could be argued that the Saints made a mistake in not bringing him to St Mary’s.
Sky Sports suggested that Southampton made an enquiry for the 20-year-old towards the end of the transfer window, but a deal could not be concluded.
Ralph Hasenhuttl has subsequently lost regular left-back Ryan Bertrand to injury after he went off in the 4-3 win against Aston Villa recently with natural centre-back Jack Stephens filling in there in the recent 2-0 win against Newcastle United.
Williams has made just two appearances for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side this season, both of which came in the League Cup, which suggests that his progress at United is being stifled and a loan to Southampton would have benefitted both parties.
The defender was praised heavily by his manager following United’s 3-1 defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup last season, with him saying:
“You saw Brandon [Williams] and the character he showed. He played a square pass into Mount [which led to their second goal] and he probably felt a bit responsible, but for the rest of the half, he was absolutely outstanding. The kid has been out for a while and not played, and had the eye injury, but his character and personality out there was great, he kept going and kept going,” (per Manchester United).
Both of the games the 20-year-old full-back played in have resulted in 3-0 wins for the Red Devils, with the academy graduate earning impressive 7.37 and 7.22 ratings for his performances against Luton Town and Brighton respectively.
This shows that when the Englishman has played, he has impressed, so perhaps he would have been an excellent option for Hasenhuttl to have in his Saints side, especially when you consider the lack of options available to the Austrian manager in that position.
Sam McQueen is currently out injured with a cruciate ligament rupture, whilst 20-year-old Jake Vokins has just three senior Saints appearances to his name, so is perhaps not ready for a starting role in the Premier League.
Therefore, it would have been sensible for Hasenhuttl to recruit another left-back with slightly more experience, such as Williams, and it could be argued that Southampton chief executive Martin Semmens may have let his manager down by not securing a loan deal for the Manchester United man.
However, with United having recruited fellow left-back Alex Telles during the summer transfer window, you would imagine that Williams’ game time won’t be increasing any time soon, so perhaps we will see the Saints return for the 20-year-old in the upcoming January transfer window.