Brandon Williams should be Manchester United’s first choice left back, says a man who should know about playing as full-back — former United defender Paul Parker.
Williams has impressed in his four appearances so far, and on Thursday put in a man of the match performance as he won a penalty against Partizan Belgrade.
However, Ashley Young was recalled for the Premier League win at Norwich; and Parker believes that Williams should have played.
“I couldn’t believe Ole didn’t play him yesterday,” Parker said exclusively on this week’s WeAreTheBusbyBoys podcast. “He did well against Alkmaar — forget how the team did, judge him as an individual, I thought the lad done great. He was incredible in that game. Then his next involvement was one of the worst places you could go in Europe in terms of the atmosphere and the poor pitch.
“All that pressure around him, he handled it like a seasoned pro and he won the game with that driving run. He never stopped with the ball, he just wanted to run forward all the time. He hardly put a foot wrong. It ws almost a perfect performance.”
Parker believes that Williams’ youth and enthusiasm should have meant he was fine to play on Sunday, and says he feels Sir Alex Ferguson would have continued to trust the youngster.
“I wonder how he felt after being left out,” he says. “Carrow Road is a lovely place to play football. He missed out and he should have played. Sir Alex would have played him, I really believe that. He said it to me when Gary Neville came through and I was out with injury. Sir Alex said he couldn’t leave him out because it might affect his confidence. At the time it wasn’t good but you realise and understand what he was trying to do. The moment they showed something, he stuck with them. After a while he might have pulled them out but he knew when to do that. With a performance like he put in in Belgrade, Williams needed to play again.”
It has been a rapid emergence for Williams but Parker believes that he has already impressed enough to be given the opportunity to nail the position of left-back for himself, such have been United’s issues in that role.
“Williams would start for me now,” says Parker. “He would be the left-back in today’s team. And even when Shaw comes back it should be Williams’ place to lose. He gives the team better balance, he goes forward in a better way than Shaw does. He has quicker feet, can use both feet and has better balance.”