Southampton have been handed a potential boost in their pursuit of Manchester United full-back Brandon Williams.
What's the latest transfer news involving Williams?
According to the Manchester Evening News, Williams will be allowed to leave Old Trafford on a season-long loan deal this summer so that he can gain some more first-team football.
Southampton made an enquiry over the 20-year-old's availability earlier this season, but United opted to keep Williams at the club as defensive cover.
Now, they are willing to let him move away for a year, which could see Southampton renew their interest in Williams, who can play at right-back or left-back.
What were Williams' stats in 2020/21?
It is easy to see why United have granted Williams permission to go out on loan next year given how little he played this term.
The England Under-21 international featured in just four Premier League matches in 2020/21 as he was kept out of the team by the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Luke Shaw and Alex Telles.
He did get to play in six European matches throughout the campaign as United made the Europa League final, but across the whole season he was limited to less than 700 minutes of first-team action.
What did Scholes say about Williams?
Williams may have struggled for game time this year, but that was less of an issue in his breakthrough season in 2019/20 as he chalked up 17 top-flight appearances.
Coming into the team as a teenager, Williams made a very positive first impression and caught the eye of United legend Paul Scholes, who claimed back in January 2020 that the youngster deserved to be ahead of Shaw in the pecking order.
As quoted by The Mirror, Scholes said: “You'd have to choose him [Williams] at the moment. I do like Luke Shaw but he just can't string a run of games.
“At the minute Brandon Williams is doing that so he is in pole position. He's an excellent defender but he can also get forward as well.
“He's got quality, he's a talented lad and he'll get up and down the pitch. He's got two good feet, I think he's more of a right-footed left-back which is strange.
“He's got the quality to get forward and the quality to score goals.”
Would Williams be a good addition for Southampton?
Judging Williams on the past 12 months is difficult given his lack of minutes on the pitch, but he showed enough in his first season at United to suggest that he could be a major asset for Southampton if they can secure his signature this summer.
Last year, Gary Neville stated that he was impressed by Williams' desire to win matches at all costs, and the Saints could do with that type of mentality in their changing room right now.
The team won just four of their last 21 league games in 2020/21 as they fell down the table at an alarming rate. Coming from a United team who expect to win every week, it is unlikely that Williams would accept such a dismal run of results, and his never-say-die attitude could do wonders to improve the environment at St Mary's after a tough first half of 2021.
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