Brandon Williams has signed a new contract at Manchester United which will keep him at the club until 2024, with the option of a further year.
Williams’ new four-year deal, as confirmed by the club’s official website, recognises the academy graduate’s impressive rise through the ranks this season; the 19-year-old has made 33 appearances in his first campaign.
It’s also a show of faith by boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has continued United’s proud tradition of giving academy players their first team opportunity.
As noted by Laurie Whitwell, the Crumpsall-born teenager will earn £65,000 per-week, a huge increase in his previous deal at the club.
Brandon Williams has signed a new contract until June 2024 (with option of further year). Understand it’s worth up to £65,000 per week.
— Laurie Whitwell (@lauriewhitwell) August 4, 2020
Here’s why Williams is completely deserving of his new four-year contract at his boyhood club.
It’s easy to forget that Williams didn’t even go on the pre-season tour of Australia and the Far East last summer. Instead, he started the season in Neil Wood’s U23 squad before grasping his chance when Luke Shaw suffered an injury early in the season.
Many players would have been understandably overawed in Williams’ position given the sudden nature of his step-up to the first-team.
But right from his debut against Rochdale in the League Cup in September, Williams has looked completely at ease in the first-team setting. He matches fearless aggression in defence against some of the league’s best wingers with refreshing ambition in attack.
Competition for Shaw
Luke Shaw was playing some of the best football in his United career before his season ending injury against Southampton at Old Trafford.
The 25-year-old’s fire was reignited through the emergence of Williams, who at one point displaced him as Solskjaer’s first choice left-back.
The competition Williams is providing to the almost indispensable Shaw is healthy, with both players striving to impress.
United may have had plans to sign a new left-back before Williams’ breakthrough, but can now shelve these plans with two capable players that can occupy the role.
Shaw’s surprising adeptness at slotting into a back three also allows the pair to start together in a five-at-the-back formation, with Williams providing the attacking outlet on the flank.
Big game player
Solskjaer has entrusted Williams to start against the best teams this season and the teenager has not let his manager down.
Williams is not deterred by quality opposition, playing a key part in two Manchester derby wins this season.
Plenty of supporters feared the worst when it was revealed Shaw would not be available for the final day showdown against Leicester.
But Williams filled in tremendously in what was undoubtedly the biggest game of his fledgling career.
Williams has already become a fixture of the first-team squad and has a ruthlessness on the pitch akin to United great Gary Neville.
He is worthy of his new long-term contract for an outstanding breakthrough campaign.