Brandon Williams’ reason for playing Man Utd U23 game despite first-team call-up

Manchester United outcast Brandon Williams put himself forward to play in the club’s Under-23s derby against Manchester City on Sunday.

Williams, 20, has fallen out of favour under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season following the arrival of Alex Telles from Porto.

The young left-back has found first-team opportunities few and far between, playing just six minutes of Premier League football and an hour’s worth of Champions League action.

He did rack up 90 minutes in United’s Carabao Cup wins over Luton and Brighton, but the latter fixture came at the end of September and he has largely been frozen out since.

Due to his lack of football, Williams decided to ply his trade with United’s Under-23 side on Sunday and build up his own match fitness.

U23s boss Neil Wood revealed after their 2-2 draw with City that it was the player’s decision, as he was keen to get a full 90 minutes under his belt.

“Brandon has been training for the first team, but he wanted to play and it was good for his match sharpness to play, a good game for him to play in,” Wood told MEN Sport.

“It would benefit anyone, 90 minutes up and down. He'll go back with the first team and hopefully he's involved in the next game with them.”

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New United signing Facundo Pellistri was on the scoresheet at Leigh Sports Village, but Taylor Harwood-Bellis eventually needed the equaliser for 10-men City in what proved an ill-tempered clash.

It certainly provided more entertainment than the senior derby on Saturday, which saw both sides cancel each other out in a fairly drab 0-0 stalemate.

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