Manchester United’s under-18’s coach Neil Ryan claims Brandon Williams is the latest inspiration for his young players.
The 19-year-old full-back has already managed six appearances in Ole Gunnar-Solskjaer’s senior side, with the latest coming as a late substitute in the 1-0 defeat against Bournemouth.
United have a history of producing home grown talent from David Beckham, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes to the current crop of Mason Greenwood, James Garner, Tahith Chong and Angel Gomes trying to cement their place in the side.
And Ryan told manutd.com how pleased he is to see Williams’ progress.
“I think Brandon is another inspiration for all the players.
“You’re always looking at the players ahead of you, if you see someone like Brandon step up for the first team, and have a great debut and do well in prestigious games, it was great to see another Academy boy step up when called upon.
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“It should really inspire all the other younger players within the Academy, from whatever age, to look for the next step and challenge themselves. You never quite know, until you’re in that situation, how you are going to cope or how you will perform. If you don’t do great, it doesn’t matter as it’s about development and, the next time, you’ve got to be ready when you get that next opportunity.
”It’s what we’re about – stretching and challenging individual players so, when the opportunity comes, hopefully the manager recognises they’re prepared for that and they get their opportunity.”
Williams signed his first professional contract in April 2018 and captained the Under-18s under Ryan. He later skippered the Under-23 side during the current 2019/20 season and was given his opportunity in the first team against Rochdale in the Carabao Cup.
United host Partizan Belgrade in the Europa League on Thursday evening and could secure their place in the knockout stages with a win.
Given that qualification is only 90 minutes away, Solskjaer could be tempted to field an experienced XI to get his side over the line.
However, with Diogo Dalot, Luke Shaw, Axel Tuanzebe and Paul Pogba among the long list of players sidelined, that may not be possible and there could be more chances for younger members of Solskjaer’s squad and Williams could make his third appearance on the European stage having played against AZ Alkmaar and in the away fixture against Partizan Belgrade.
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