A resurgent Paul Pogba can fire Manchester United into the top 4, if he wants too

How will Paul Pogba be remembered at Manchester United and on the bigger picture how will he be remembered in world football, if for example, he was to stop playing this second?

Obviously Pogba is a world class player, you don’t win the World Cup and play for Juventus and Manchester United. But at the same time it does feel as if Pogba at times has not given everything to the cause. Was he ever 100% committed when he played for Juventus? His time at Manchester United in reality will be remembered for magical moments, bursts of inspiration and some great goals, but it will also be remembered for confrontations with managers especially Jose Mourinho and niggling injuries.

Pogba can still change that attitude and end the season on a high and it was telling how good Pogba looked when he made his return against Watford a week ago. True United in United fashion this decade lost the game, and against the bottom side but Pogba came on from the bench and in the 30 minutes he had changed the way United were playing. He was fearless in his attacks from midfield and his pace and vision were also superb. We were seeing the very best of Pogba, the same version of Pogba we saw at the 2018 World Cup where his performances especially in the knock out rounds were superb. There is no doubt that when Pogba wants it, Pogba is a wonderful player to witness.

It should have come to no surprise then that in United’s next game against Newcastle they would win 4-1 with an outstanding performance and another confident game for the Frenchman. So now one wonders if United has a chance to finish in the top 4?

At this moment Chelsea are making it rather easier for them than it should be. The gap to 4th should be and could have been 15 points at least instead it is just 4 points and United do have a genuine chance to make a top 4 challenge. Of course other teams have bunched up in the league because of Chelsea’s bad form and United are in 8th place.

Wolves, Tottenham and Sheffield United stand between Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team and 4th. But United do have fire in their belly and before the Watford loss there is no doubt that the club had found their form again and we were seeing a United side who looked the business when Solskjaer first took over from a sacked Jose Mourinho a year ago.

United though need Pogba to be on his game if they are going to challenge for a top 4 spot. Sure form came to the club when Pogba was ironically injured and on the sidelines for a few weeks. But now he is fit he will play and if he doesn’t find consistency then that will be an extra ‘ghost’ player on the field for the club which will help no one.

Does Pogba want to be mentioned in the same breath as some of the United greats? He could be and still has the time to be. Now much like he did with France in that glorious World Cup win he needs to drag his team across that line, or he may just forever be known as a player that could have instead of something that did.

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An important couple of weeks for both Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United have been on a good run in December as a whole, beating Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur whilst qualifying for the knockout stages of the Europa League. Despite there being a lot of inconsistencies on and off the pitch, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his men are now hitting into their fine form as several of their experienced players have now returned from injury.

Solskjaer hasn’t had a lot of good moments since becoming the permanent manager of Manchester United, and one could probably say that there has been a few games at best of what the Old Trafford faithful of seen of how the 46-year-old Norwegian international wants his team to play with and without the ball. But given the side’s lack of quality and depth as a whole, the United supporters and the key people within the board are willing to have faith in him and give him the time he wants.

The Red Devils will be coming up against Watford at Vicarage Road, with a potential victory helping them to progress towards a top four position, but when it comes to an important and meaningful game like this, they have the tendency to drop their concentration levels and fail to simply show up.

Regardless of the end outcome on Sunday afternoon, it will not make a huge difference to Solskjaer’s future at the club, as the people in charge as well as Ed Woodward will feel it would be too early to make a managerial change or decision, and it could potentially push the Manchester United fanbase to protest against them given their lack of ability to plan and succeed effectively.

It’s now time to see the upcoming fixtures that Manchester United will take part in…

Watford, away in the league

Given the opposition’s overall form and their position in the league table, United should feel the upcoming match at Vicarage Road should be a straightforward one, where they should be able to pick up the much needed three points and score a couple of goals. And with Paul Pogba travelling with the match-day squad, the side have someone who can unlock a stubborn and low-block defence, something they were struggling to do over the last few weeks against mid-table teams.

However, many of the United supporters will not be confident going into the game, especially when you consider the side’s away form so far this season, only picking up nine points away from home, which is less than the likes Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Sheffield United and West Ham United.

Newcastle, at home in the league

The Toons have hit into a good stride of results in their recent fixtures, beating the difficult teams in Crystal Palace and Sheffield United whilst pushing forward in the top half of the league. Though, with Manchester United’s record at home being decent and have only lost on one occasion, there shouldn’t be much problems for Ole’s men to achieve the victory and continue their fight to get into the top four positions. With the likes of Arsenal, Leicester and Wolves expected to drop points in that gameweek, it would be a huge moment if United were to take the advantage for the first time.

Burnley, away in the league

Going to the Turf Moor is not easy for many sides, no matter whether you are one of the best teams in the league or one on of the mid-table teams. Sean Dyche’s men are one of the toughest types to deal with, as they play out in a 4-4-2 setup, and are very difficult to break down whilst the physical presence in midfield and attack do more than enough to be effective in the final third of the pitch. Burnley have one of the best home records in the league from the teams outside of the main top-six sides, so United will have to offer a lot more than they usually do in order to gain all three points.

Arsenal, away in the league

Although the fixture is just over a week away, United would have loved to play Arsenal at this moment of time, as they go through a managerial change and with majority of the squad lacking the desire and motivation to fight for the club they play for. With the Gunners facing Bournemouth and Chelsea within a matter of days before they play United, Mikel Arteta will have to get down to work as soon as possible and try to prevent the ship from sinking further, which will not be an easy job.

Wolves, away in the FA Cup

It’s fair to say Wolves have become a bogey time for United, as they have failed to beat The Wanderers on a few occasions since they have been promoted to the Premier League. And with Nuno Espirito Santo turning the Molineux Stadium into a fortress, the FA Cup fixture may result in only one way, with the hosts beating the visitors with their direct and counter-attacking approach. Depending on who is available and free to be used, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see United’s away form go from bad to worse, as Wolves will be very dangerous with their pace and movement.

There is no certainty with where United will stand in the Premier League following these fixtures, but if they were to pick up at least 10 points whilst seeing the other teams around them drop points, it would potentially see them in the top four positions just as they go into the new year on a high note.

Overall, the results over next couple of weeks may affect any plans they have in the January transfer window, as a majority of rumours within the English media have began to state that a number of players could be leaving and moving to Old Trafford next month. Let the big run of games begin.

Manchester United remind the Premier League who were kings for 20 years

Let’s not walk around the situation this has been a hideous and largely terrible six years for Manchester United a club so used to picking up trophies and being England’s if not Europe’s best team. Those days look long gone but in the past few weeks the Red Devils have shown hints of their qualities which will always be festering in the clubs DNA.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer started life at Old Trafford in such terrific form that he was soon given a full time contract and it was at that precise moment that United collapsed. The club couldn’t buy a win at the tail end of last season and that poor form has dogged them into this one. And yet there has been flashes that United do, in fact, have a quality team in them, it’s just been Solskjaer’s job to try and find it.

A more testing board would have sacked the Norwegian a couple of months ago to be fair and replaced him with Massimiliano Allegri who is currently without a job. But Allegri has stated that he doesn’t want to return to football until next summer. But maybe then after United’s recent up turn there is a case in keeping your manager and not sacking them at the hint that is everything is going downwards. Of course this stance can’t work every time but it is a thought.

Manchester United have had some difficult fixtures recently and it looks evident that these players are at their best when they are motivated by the bigger and stronger teams in the Premier League. Look at the evidence. United are the only team in England to take points from Liverpool this season as the two teams drew 1-1 at Old Trafford. United beat 2nd placed Leicester. They beat Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham 2-1 a week ago and then followed that up by beating the champions Manchester City by the same score line at the Etihad. It has been a fantastic few weeks for the club who are unbeaten in their last five matches.

This form has taken United up to 5th place and they are just 5 points behind Chelsea for a top four place. The club are scoring goals too and have 12 in those matches and there is a positive vibe around the club. Marcus Rashford genuinely looks like he has stepped up a level and looks world class. Daniel James is super quick and Jesse Lingard is doing a terrific job of late. It is all clicking for United.

One suspects though that it will be in the other games when United will be judged more, when they have to travel away to teams that are around them and in the bottom half of the league. Win those and get some consistency and then we can start talking about the return of this famous club. For now they remain a threat to the top 4 and Solskjaer looks like he has saved his job.

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Why Jose Mourinho should never have been sacked as Manchester United manager

Since Sir Alex Ferguson left Manchester United in 2013 it has been quite a nightmarish ride for the fans who were so used to seeing multiple successes, good players and great games at the club.

It’s been a shock for United at how many plans have failed since Ferguson left. David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and current manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have all tried to put United back on the map. But the club are certainly going backwards albeit with a certain glimmer of light, which just about still shines in the halls of Old Trafford.

In the 6 years since United have won 3 trophies, 2 of them the Europa League and League Cup were won with Jose Mourinho in charge, and he also led the club to 2nd place in the league- their best ever finish post Ferguson. One wonders if United made a huge error sacking Mourinho? Of course at the time it did look like the best option. United were losing every week and misery seemed to be engulfed with the club. For reasons we will most probably find out in a players book Mourinho had lost the dressing room, but how is that different from the other coaches who have managed at the club.

When David Moyes arrived at Everton, then defender Rio Ferdinand admitted that he had no respect for the ex-Everton manager, this before Moyes had properly overseen his first game. Van Gaal seemed like an odd appointment, a brilliant one had it been the 1990s, but in 2014? The Dutchman was well past his sell by date, he lost some games you would have expected United to win but he did win the FA Cup as a parting gift. Solskjaer started well but has been a nightmare coach for the club, some of his buys have been inspired and he wants to do his best, but he simply looks like a small fish in a vast ocean.

Mourinho needed a clear out of players if he was to stay, and the one negative you could say about him is the special one is pretty useless at rebuilding teams and leaving some sort of legacy for the next manager. But what he does deliver are trophies, he just needs the sort of players that will train hard and work hard for him, that wasn’t going to be the case at United.

Records of Manchester United managers since Sir Alex Ferguson:

David Moyes win rate= 52.9%

Louis van Gaal win rate= 52.4%

Jose Mourinho win rate= 58.3%

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer win rate (so far) = 51.1%

Bournemouth 1-0 Man Utd: Solskjaer’s men lacked the creativity and quality to overcome the Cherries

Although the main focus of gameweek 11 was to see how the table is beginning to shape up on both sides of the league as we are only a few weeks away from the busy December period, Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had an important fixture of their own as they faced difficult trip away to Bournemouth. This was the perfect chance for the side to show consistency in front of goal and in terms of going on a winning run, however, they were unable to overcome Eddie Howe’s men.

In terms of the game as a whole, it was quite balanced between both teams as they were able to see a good amount of possession and had a few opportunities here and there to create some decent chances. Though, most of the action came in the second half, with Joshua King’s well-taken goal just before the half-time break had allowed the game to be more open and entertaining for the neutrals.

To be fair to Solskjaer’s side, they had seem quite tired and lethargic, assuming it has been difficult in containing all the recent matches as well as the long trips in the Europa League. But focusing back onto the Bournemouth match, Ole’s in-game management will have to improve soon or later, as his timing of the substitutions are really poor and it could possibly cost him his job before he knows it.

In the end, the Cherries were able to pick up the much needed three points and their second league victory at home this season as they go up to seventh-place in the table. Meanwhile, the Red Devils drop down to the middle of the table, as they have achieved only three victories in 11 league games, leaving them closer to the relegation zone rather than the top four area of the Premier League table.

Here are the three valuable factors we learnt from United’s latest league fixture…

Andreas Pereira and Fred are simply not good enough

Given the lack of midfield quality and squad depth that is offered to Solskjaer this season, it leaves him with no choice but to utilise Andreas Pereira and Fred on a regular basis. For sure, the Brazilian duo show some work rate and passion on both sides of the pitch, but other than that, they are unable to control and dominate the midfield battle to help the team to consistently win games.

With neither of the pair having the ability to play as a box-to-box midfielder or as an advanced playmaker, it does leave the cold question of what do they bring and offer to the team week in and out. If they are not able to make a breakthrough like Scott McTominay has done so over the last 12 months, the United supporters will be desperate in wanting Paul Pogba back from injury or a new midfielder in the January window, as the quality in the middle of the pitch is not good enough.

United’s defensive issues are beginning to rise once again

In the first weeks of the season, it had seemed like United’s defence were really hard to breakthrough and difficult to get passed, thanks to the arrivals of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire. However, in the recent fixtures, the feeling and presence of the backline has instantly turnaround, as the opposition have been able to be effective with their physicality and pace.

The criticism of United’s back-four has increased from time to time, as the Old Trafford faithful are starting to point out many weaknesses in each individual, such as Maguire’s decision making and lack of pace, Ashley Young’s incapability to defend and attack or even Victor Lindelof’s difficulties in facing forwards who are superior in height and acceleration. And if this begins to continue, the team may find themselves in a defensive dilemma which they have experienced over the last few years.

The lack of creativity and urgency is what had let the side down  

Manchester United finished the defeat at Bournemouth with zero big chances created, one decent counter attack and 15 shots with four of them being on target. On that note, the attacking figures produced by the Red Devils at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday afternoon were really below-par, especially for a side that are aiming for a top four finish in the league and have an expensive squad.

If the team are looking to create more chances and complete more shots on target, they will need to start getting both Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford more into the game, which they were not able to do as Daniel James had become to go-to-man in recent matches. With the attacking options being limited, United have to work around the movement, pace and the quality of the front three, who have the potential to create chances out nothing and could prove to be deadly on the counter.

Norwich 1-3 Man Utd: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men pick up the much needed victory

Although the main focus of gameweek ten was the thrilling game between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had a crucial game of their own as they faced a tough trip away to Norwich City. It was the most ideal and perfect chance for the Red Devils to get back to winning ways, as they had been sitting in the bottom half of the table for quite some time.

The match as a whole, was really one-sided in favour of the visitors in terms of the command in possession and the amount of successful passes that were achieved. However, the hosts managed to pile on some pressure in the first half and were not afraid to attack United’s defence, as Norwich’s midfield had the required hunger, stride and pace to get to the final third time and time again.

But it didn’t take much for Solskjaer’s men to get the breakthrough, as they were able to have a confident lead over Norwich by the half-time break through Scott McTominay and Marcus Rashford, even though they had missed two penalties which were well saved by Tim Krul. A number of questions were raised about the host’s individual defending and their lack of positional awareness, as they could have done a lot more to prevent both goals from happening in the first place.

Towards the last 20 minutes of the game, the Red Devils got the third and final goal to put the game to bed as Anthony Martial scored in his first league start since the end of August. Norwich continued to play the way that Daniel Farke had set them up to play from the first minute, which allowed them to gain a late and well-deserved consolation, as Onel Hernandez was able to get his goal in the final moments of the game, which could have been easily avoided from a United point of view.

Here are the three valuable factors we learnt from United’s latest league fixture…

Penalty issues need addressing urgently

Manchester United have received four penalties so far this season, more than any other side in the league, but have only managed to convert half of them into the back of the net. It’s normally not a big problem or a worry as an individual could miss a few here or there or the goalkeeper could generally be a quality shot-stopper, but this is now becoming a rising issue for Solskjaer and his men.

One of the reasons to why it needs addressing is because the main two options at the moment happen to be Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford, who have recently failed to step up and become the main penalty take for the side. And with Paul Pogba expected to remain on the sidelines for around 6-8 long weeks, the boss may need to keep a close eye on the likes of Andreas Pereira, Daniel James or even Ashley Young, who could potentially be an expert at taking penalties.

Quality and depth in midfield is still lacking

When comparing United’s midfield to the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, it can easily be stated that former’s potential and quality in the middle of the pitch is respectively nowhere near the latter’s. For sure, Pogba’s presence is being missed in recent weeks and is badly required for the upcoming months, but even when he is playing on a regular basis, the team is still lacking the defensive steel as well as the attacking creativity to help the side on both sides of the pitch.

United’s midfield has been recently been viewed as a double pivot involving both Fred and Scott McTominay within this role, and despite their work rate and their effort on and off the ball, the class and ability of the pair isn’t good enough to lead the team to a top four finish. Neither of two have the intelligence to be the difference maker or the game changer when needed the most, which may lead the club and the manager with the thought of buying a midfielder or two in the January window.

Anthony Martial is back, so are the goals for Man Utd

There is no secret that Anthony Martial is United’s best attacker, whether he is utilised in the number nine position or on the flanks, he is still able to cause a number of problems for the opposition’s defence and their goalkeeper. Despite being unavailable for quite some time due to an injury, he has recently come back and shown his quality once again, from scoring the winner on Thursday night away to Partizan Belgrade and now bagging a goal away to Norwich City.

If the Frenchman was to stay injury-free from now till the end of the season, it wouldn’t be an absolute surprise to see him finish the season as the club’s top goal-scorer as well as one of the best finishers within the Premier League. United’s chances of reviving their season and still aiming for a top-four finish in the league would come down to the contribution of Martial himself, who has the capability of creating chances and space for his team-mates along with placing them into the net.

Man Utd v Liverpool; The three key battles to look out for

Ahead of gameweek nine, Manchester United sit embarrassingly in the both half of the table in 13th place and will be taking on Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, who are looking to extend their lead at the top of the league as both sides will take on one another in the Sunday afternoon fixture at Old Trafford.

Without a doubt, both clubs will be aiming to make statement of their own whilst looking to earn bragging rights, in a match that will surely be watched by nearly every football fan around the world. The Red Devils have had a really good record in this feisty fixture over the last ten years or so, whilst the red side of Merseyside have surprisingly not won at Old Trafford in the league since 2014.

It’s time to look at the three vital battles that could help to decide the fate of this huge fixture…

Daniel James vs Trent Alexander-Arnold

Since the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the permanent manager of the club, Daniel James has been the one attacking player that has been a constant threat for the side, through his intelligent dribbling and direct style of play. With Anthony Martial unlikely to be placed straight back into the team after coming back from injury, the hopes of the United supporters and Solskjaer himself will be in the hands of the speedy Welshman.

James will be in for a close and tight encounter with Trent Alexander-Arnold, who is seen as one of Liverpool’s key creators from the flanks as well as one of the best right-backs in the league and in Europe. The 21-year-old has played a crucial role in helping the side to have the best defensive record in the league, whilst also being seen as the main man when it comes to taking set-pieces.  

Sadio Mane vs Aaron Wan-Bissaka

It’s no secret that Liverpool’s most deadly and influential player in the final third of the pitch is none other than Sadio Mane at the moment, an individual who has an incredible burst of pace as well as the ability to take on two to three players with ease when required. If he can find the urge and desire, he normally shows when his side need him the most, he could definitely help his team to win their first ever Premier League title whilst potentially contend for the Player of the Year award.

Mane has been offering the ideal mixture of electric spark and directness from the left flank, making him the world class attacking outlet he was dreaming of becoming since his early days at Southampton. He will be up against Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who has recently returned from injury and is well-known for his defensive contributions, completing a number of interceptions and tackles on a weekly basis, making him the perfect full-back that United need on both sides of the pitch.

Scott McTominay vs Jordan Henderson

Given the lack of midfield options that Solskjaer has available, as well as Paul Pogba being on the sidelines for a couple of weeks, it means that Scott McTominay has to step up and be the main man for the midfield and for the team. For sure, he may not be a talented player or technically gifted like the others, but through his aerial ability, physicality and hard work on and off the ball, it may be just enough to get his team-mates going and produce a possible shocker over long-term rivals Liverpool.

Meanwhile for Liverpool, Jordan Henderson will be potentially utilised as a box-to-box midfielder and will be hoping that his leadership, types of passing and incredible work rate will help his team to go on to win the fixture. The 29-year-old has time and time again proved himself, to be an important player within Jurgen Klopp’s system, even when he came under a huge amount of criticism from his own supporters and the English media, which has helped him to become the player he is today.

Newcastle 1-0 Man Utd: More problems for Ole’s young Red Devils

Although the main focus of gameweek eight was Liverpool beating Leicester City in the last moments of the game, typically from the penalty spot, and Man City dropping points once again, this time at home to Wolves. It was a great chance for Manchester United to get back to winning ways just before the international break, as they faced a cold and wet trip away to Newcastle United.

The match as a whole, was one-sided in favour of the visitors in terms of the control in possession and the amount of successful passes that were completed in general. Though, the hosts piled on the pressure half way through the first half and were not afraid to attack United’s defence through drive and pace of both Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron, who played with great confidence.

After the half-time break, the breakthrough came for Newcastle in 72nd minute of the match, where they were able to counter-attack from a Man Utd corner, with Matthew Longstaff scoring an absolute peach of a goal from just outside of the box. A number of questions were raised about the visitor’s individual defending, as they could have done a lot to prevent the goal from happening.

Towards the final 15 to 20 minutes of the game, the Red Devils did begin to cause problems and attack with more intent into the final third of the pitch, but Newcastle’s stubborn and physical defence were able to see it out till the final whistle. Steve Bruce’s men were able to achieve the three much needs points whilst Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will have to go back to the drawing board.

Here are the three valuable factors we learnt from United’s latest league fixture…

Ole’s days at the club look pretty much numbered

It’s not been a good couple of weeks for Ole personally, with his last victory in the league being back in the middle of September and since then, he has failed to beat the likes of West Ham, Arsenal and now Newcastle United. Not only that, his team completed an unconvincing performance away to AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League whilst failing to beat Rochdale in the League Cup within normal time.

For sure, it is not straightforward to explain or the state the reasons of the side’s downfall, but it has been a huge ask to request a former manager of Cardiff City and Molde to bring stability to a big club like Man Utd and guide them to success in all the competitions they take part in. Also, given the lack of quality and squad depth, the Norwegian’s time at Old Trafford looks to be numbered day by day.

Decisions and planning are badly required during the international break

Everyone at Manchester United will be more than happy that two weeks of international football has arrived, as they can aim to think about the club’s plan for the remainder of the season and what would be the ideal for the manager and the players. Some rumours have began in possibly sacking Ole before the Liverpool game, whilst others have raised that a full meeting between everyone to discuss ongoing matters and how to solve them would be the more appropriate approach.

Truth be told, the greedy and incompetent owners as well as Ed Woodward, do not really bother with how the football club do on the pitch, as long as they are making enough money off it and are seeing the value of the club continue to increase. It just happens to be one of the reasons to why they have spent around £1billion over the last six to seven years, yet there has been no consistent success in the Champions League or in the Premier League, which pretty much sums up everything.

The young Man Utd squad are clearly lacking leaders and world class players

Majority of the English media and the Premier League experts were expecting the Red Devils to have a difficult season and see themselves experience most of the campaign outside of the top-six finish. And, that has proven to be the case, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United are missing the required quality in midfield and most importantly in attack, to guide them to a Champions League spot and any potential success in the cup competition.

With the club failing to bring in a number of players throughout the summer transfer window, whilst already ignoring the departure of both Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku, it was never going to be an easy and simple season for the club as a whole. On top of that, the lack of leaders was an important factor that needed work on over the summer, as the squad have a consistency to crumble when they are needed the most, and have a tendency to not step up, which happens to still be the same outcome.

Can Brandon Williams replace Luke Shaw?

After yet another away game without a win, Ole Gunnar Solskjær has some serious thinking to do about how to improve Manchester United’s fortunes between now and the end of the season. 

Sitting in 10th place in the Premier League, the Red Devils are going to be on the backfoot now and, with the limited squad they possess, will not be feared by any visiting team looking for those crucial three points.

Manchester United might have brought in three talents in the summer transfer window to bolster the team, but the club are still a number of core players away from getting anywhere close to where they want to be.

An area on the pitch that has been most disconcerting in recent years has been left back. Luke Shaw was signed from Southampton to lock down that position for years to come, but after the Englishman’s double leg break in 2015, he is yet to sustain a season without any injuries or consistent performances.

In the Red Devils’ latest Europa League fixture against AZ Alkmaar, it was Brandon Williams who stepped in at left back after a successful start to the season with the reserves. In his five appearances in the Premier League 2, Williams has four assists and has had the armband at 19-years-old.

Manchester United quite clearly rate the England youth international highly, which is why he has played against Rochdale in the Carabao Cup, as well as Rotherham earlier in the season in the EFL Trophy.

Shaw is only 24 himself with a contract that runs until 2023. It is plain to see that his attacking output is nowhere near what it should be, which is why attention is now being turned to this position by the fans in order to add another dimension to the team’s attack.

The former Southampton full back was close to exiting Old Trafford under José Mourinho’s harsh treatment, but signed a new five-year deal 12 months ago. There has been a slight improvement under Solskjær, but he is not yet regained his confidence he had when down on the south coast, nor when he first joined the club.

Williams looks hungry and motivated to challenge Shaw and begin his understudy role this season. In his 90 minutes against Alkmaar, on a poor surface pitch and in a team that is drastically underperforming, Williams came out on top and looked a class act.

Of course, the young left back is going to have moments that highlight his rawness, but at 19, it is to be expected. There is a great maturity shown by Williams in a defensive manner, which is coupled with his eagerness to get forward and try to create something in attack.

There are bound to be more twists and turns in this season for Manchester United, but one thing that is for certain is their youth are ready to make the next step and challenge the seasoned professionals who are not quite cutting it.

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