Southampton have been linked with Manchester United left-back Brandon Williams and Brentford left-back Rico Henry in recent weeks but which of the duo would be the better addition to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side?
According to The Athletic, after seeing a January move break down for the Manchester United defender, Southampton will look to sign the 20-year-old on loan next season.
The United academy graduate can play as both a left-back and a right-back and has seen his progress with the Red Devils stifled this season as a result of the impressive form shown by Luke Shaw, as well as the summer arrival of Alex Telles.
The youngster has managed just two substitute appearances in the top-flight so far this season but has experience in both the Europa League and Champions League, whilst a loan deal could give Hasenhuttl’s side the opportunity to make him a permanent signing in the future if he impresses on the South Coast.
According to the Evening Standard, Southampton are currently leading the race for the Brentford defender, who is expected to be a Premier League player next season regardless of whether the Bees can earn promotion to the top-flight or not.
The former Walsall man has established himself as one of the top left-backs outside the Premier League during his time with Thomas Frank’s side, making 121 appearances and contributing two goals and eight assists.
This season has seen the Englishman make 30 appearances in the Championship, contributing one goal and two assists, which has helped him to a solid 6.84 rating, whilst he featured in every game for the Bees last season as they reached the playoff final.
Current Aston Villa manager Dean Smith suggested he was “special” and destined for the top during his time with Walsall and the 23-year-old could live up to those expectations by making the switch to Southampton this summer.
Whilst Williams is younger and would initially be cheaper than the £4.5m-rated Henry, Southampton should be looking for a more permanent replacement for Ryan Bertrand this summer, and there is no guarantee that Williams would want to stay after what would presumably be a loan from Manchester United next season.
Henry has plenty of experience in the lower leagues and deserves his chance in the Premier League after some impressive seasons in the Championship, so we feel that Martin Semmens should forget about Williams and instead focus on bringing Henry to St Mary’s this summer.
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