Manchester United defender Brandon Williams has joined Ipswich Town on loan for the remainder of the season, three years after some odd praise from Gary Neville

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Football Digest: Analysing Man Utd’s failed recruitment

Erik ten Hag has deemed Brandon Williams surplus to requirements for Manchester United this season and allowed the defender to join Ipswich Town on loan.

Williams was once tipped for big things at Old Trafford and was seen not just as someone who was worthy of competition for Luke Shaw’s left-back role, but as a player who could actually make the spot his own altogether. The 2019/20 campaign was Williams break-out season at the club, but four years down the line the defender hasn’t developed as many expected.

Back then, he was the name on everybody’s lips in the red half of Manchester, including club legend Gary Neville, who dished out some bizarre praise for the defender. After one FA Cup clash at home against Wolves, the former Red Devils right-back waxed lyrical over the youngster’s ‘win at all costs’ mentality.

Neville wrote on Twitter : “I like Brandon Williams. What I like about him specifically is he has that look in his eye of someone that would eat his opponents nose to win the match. Keep going kid! Oh he can play football to which is always a bonus.”

Neville’s praise may have been unconventional, but it wasn’t as extreme as some of the claims suggesting Williams could have been included in the England squad for Euro 2020. One prominent figure who suggested as much was Darren Bent.

Speaking in January 2020 after United met Liverpool, Bent claimed: “He’s got to be within a shout (for the Euros). If he keeps Luke Shaw out of the team and plays from now until the end of the season, every week, and plays at the level he played at the weekend then he can’t be far away.

“Brandon Williams, if he continues to play as well as he did at the weekend and continues that until the end of the season then he has to be in the discussion.”

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Brandon Williams has joined Ipswich on loan this season Brandon Williams has joined Ipswich on loan this season (


Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer clearly thought very highly of Williams, the same cannot be said for current boss Erik ten Hag. The Dutchman has used the former Norwich City loanee for just five competitive minutes over the course of his reign.

His sole outing during Ten Hag’s management came in the 2-0 Carabao Cup win over Burnley in United ‘s first game back from the World Cup break in December.

It is believed that his loan contract at Portman Road contains an option to buy clause, which would suggest his long-term future is elsewhere from Old Trafford.

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