Arsenal v Manchester United: The Battle for Jonathan Williams

Crystal Palace Selhurst Park

Arsenal and Manchester United are thought to be the two teams seriously interested in signing the next prodigy from Crystal Palace.

Crystal Palace seem to be fairly gifted at the moment in terms of the quality youth players they are producing through the club’s infrastructure with Jonathan Williams the latest star to be linked with a move away from Selhurst Park.

Williams is a very talented 19-year-old who has played 24 games in the Championship this season. His assist and goal figures haven’t been brilliant with just a single assist all season but the promise is there.

The club is fortunate that they have Ian Holloway in charge which means they will get the best possible fee, when a bigger side comes in for him and that couldn’t be too far away according to the reports.

Manchester United have very recent business dealings with the club via the deal that took Wilfried Zaha to Old Trafford from Palace, which means if they are seriously interested in Williams, they are probably the favourites to get him.

Williams could be talked into joining United, as the deal to get Zaha didn’t end on bitter terms and Palace got the price they wanted for him, which means they know they will get fair and good money for their player.

United are well suited to signing him and Zaha is the perfect example that the club won’t sign a player, before putting instant pressure on that individual to step up and perform for the club.

Williams has to be tempted by the prospect of experiencing what it’s like to play under Sir Alex Ferguson though he may get frustrated due to the lack of opportunities he’s likely to be provided with.

He may look at the example of someone like Nick Powell and be slightly put off by a move to United because of the fact Powell hasn’t even been allowed to go on loan and increase his first team experience.

Not too much will be different if Arsenal come in and try to make a big move for him because the Gunners are blessed at the moment in terms of the midfield talent they have available.

The biggest pulling factor in that deal has to be the fact that Arsene Wenger has a proven track record of taking young players, developing them and then injecting them into the first team.

The cash shouldn’t be a problem because the recent publication of financial figures for the North London club, showed they have a cash reserve of well over £100 million sitting in the bank.

It almost becomes a straight up fight between which club Williams feels is best for his development. Both clubs can compete in a financial sense but United must have the edge because they offer the greater prospect of silverware at the moment.

Who will Williams join? Might he stay put?

image: © OliverN5

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch