Ro-Shaun Williams given first senior Manchester United call up for Cup tie

The 17-year-old defender has been called up by Louis van Gaal for Sunday's quarter-final against West Ham United at Old Trafford.

Ro-Shaun Williams given first senior Manchester United call up for Cup tie
Williams vs Manchester City u21 | Photo: John Peters/Manchester United - via Getty Images

17-year-old Ro-Shaun Williams has been included in the squad to face West Ham United in the FA Cup on Sunday afternoon at Old Trafford.

Manchester United have seen 14 academy players make debuts under manager Louis van Gaal, and Williams may be added to that list after being called up to the first team for the quarter-final clash.

Williams, a defender who plays for the England under-17 side, is unlikely to start after playing against Liverpool in the under-21 derby on Friday night. Van Gaal had put faith in Timothy Fosu-Mensah over the past few weeks but his defensive partner Williams has been chosen instead this week.

Ro-Shaun Williams called up to first team

Some have argued that van Gaal is attempting to have his name, given his arrogant nature, as the manager to give a player his debut. In the past, he has given debuts to Xavi Hernandez, Victor Valdes and Andres Iniesta at Barcelona as well as Thomas Muller and David Alaba at Bayern Munich. His record in terms of youth players is very good, but perhaps now, with his future next season very much in doubt, he is looking to add more players to that illustrious list that have been given their chance by him.

Williams arriving with the first team squad | Photo: Manchester Evening News
Williams arriving with the first team squad | Photo: Manchester Evening News

Jesse Lingard has been the most regular of United academy players to be given a chance by the Dutchman. Lingard is now a regular starter for the club and although he may not have the quality of some United players, he has the attitude that could see him succeed in the long term.

Van Gaal gives yet another chance to academy player

Guillermo Varela and Cameron Borthwick-Jackson have been hugely impressive when relied upon by van Gaal. However, arguably more talented figures like Adnan JanuzajAndreas Pereira and James Wilson have been given very few chances under the 64-year-old.

Whether Williams will get a chance will be seen. He is a superb defender given his age, and alongside Fosu-Mensah, one of the best defenders in the youth set up. As first choice for England under-17s in the World Cup last summer when he was only 16, he could add a further achievement to his list.

Manchester United squad - West Ham

Goalkeepers

De Gea, Romero

Defenders

Darmian, Williams, Varela, Smalling, Blind, Rojo

Midfielders

Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger, Fellaini, Carrick, Herrera,

Forwards

Memphis, Januzaj, Lingard, Martial, Rashford