Southampton are continuing to be linked with a move for Manchester United full-back Brandon Williams ahead of the summer transfer window, and if he were to make the move to St Mary’s, it would perhaps spell the end for Ryan Bertrand on the south coast.
According to The Athletic, the Saints remain keen on the 20-year-old Old Trafford academy graduate, despite seeing a January move for the defender break down.
It is suggested that Williams was keen on a loan move at the start of the season but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wanted to keep him at the Manchester club, which hasn’t done much for the youngster’s development as he has made just two substitute appearances in the Premier Leauge so far this season.
The Saints are clearly in the market for a left-back ahead of next term, with Bertrand’s contract with the club set to expire at the end of the current campaign, whilst both Arsenal and Leicester City are reportedly keen on signing him.
Therefore, it would not be a surprise to see the 31-year-old depart this summer, especially if someone such as Williams is brought in, as it could see the former Chelsea man drop behind the youngster in the pecking order in Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side.
Truthfully, Bertrand’s performances have declined in recent seasons and his poor average WhoScored rating of 6.44/10 in the Premier League this season speaks for itself, so perhaps the Saints should start looking towards the future by bringing in a replacement for the former England international.
We have already seen Southampton enjoy success in loaning a young defender from a ‘big six‘ club, as they initially brought in Kyle Walker-Peters on loan from Tottenham Hotspur in January of last year before making his move permanent in the summer after some impressive performances.
That deal turned into something of a masterclass by the Saints, as he has quickly established himself as a key player this season, so there seems no reason why they couldn’t target a similar ‘try before you buy’ deal for Williams this summer.
Hopefully, after the move broke down in January, we see Southampton return for the £9m-rated Williams ahead of next season, as his ability to play as both a left-back and a right-back immediately marks him out as someone who would fit in well at the south coast club, where Hasenhuttl appreciates versatile operators.