Southampton are reportedly closing in on their third signing of the summer…
According to TalkSport, Southampton are on the verge of completing a deal to sign Brandon Williams on loan from Manchester United for the 2021/22 campaign
Ralph Hasenhuttl has targetted fullback additions this summer and Williams is now set to become his second signing in that area, following the arrival of Romain Perraud, and his third signing overall, as Theo Walcott also arrived earlier in the summer.
The report claims that the United defender wants to join the Saints in order to compete for regular game time after struggling to establish himself at Old Trafford last season.
Southampton fans will be delighted with this news as the arrival of Williams helps to solve a problem position for the club ahead of next term. Kyle Walker-Peters and Perraud are currently the only senior fullback options at Hasenhuttl’s disposal, with youngster Yan Valery having been out on loan in the Championship last season, and the lack of depth is a concern.
As it stand, the Austrian coach is an injury away from needing to play other players out of position to fill the right-back or left-back spots, which is why Williams joining the club could be a shrewd piece of business by Martin Semmens.
Without this deal, the likes of James Ward-Prowse, Mohamed Salisu and Jack Stephens could end up being slotted in at fullback and taken away from their desired positions, which is not ideal when trying to find a rhythm and balance within the side.
Williams is also the perfect fullback signing because he can operate on either side. He has played at left-back and right-back for United at senior level, which means that he could compete with both Perraud and Walker-Peters. This means that the Saints are essentially bringing in two players for the price of one, with Semmens avoiding the need to sign a left-back and a right-back as cover because the 20-year-old can do both roles.
He is also a quality addition to the side in terms of the level of performance he can bring on the pitch. United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer once praised the defender as being “brave” after he awarded him his debut for the club in the Europa League against AZ Alkmaar in 2019.
“The performance and debut of Brandon, fantastic. You can’t see any nerves, he’s so brave, the courage to take the ball and go forward. Great defending, very pleased, some big, big pluses today.”
The versatile beast averaged an impressive WhoScored rating of 7.19 in eight Europa League starts for United in the 2019/20 campaign. This shows that he has the quality to compete at the top level, which is another reason why fans will be delighted by this move. The Saints supporters will enjoy seeing an adaptable, quality, player come in and play a key role in Hasenhuttl’s squad.