Manchester United’s latest signing could be a key piece in Ole’s side Manchester United fans have been given something to look forward to as the club announced the latest addition to the team in Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
Manchester United paid a sum of £45m which could rise to a potential £50m in add-ons, making the right-back the club’s fourth-most expensive signing of all time and the second-most expensive English player in history in terms of initial fees paid.
Career at Crystal Palace
The Croydon-born lad started his football career at the Crystal Palace academy at the age of 11, where he started out as a winger. Seven months after signing his first professional contract at the club, he began to feature with the first team in their summer pre-season tour of 2017 under new manager then Frank de Boer. The club participated in the PL Asia Trophy held in Hong Kong.
Wan-Bissaka featured as a substitute in the semi-final game against Liverpool where they went down by two goals and had to play the third-place playoff against West Bromwich Albion where he also came on as a substitute and played a new role in both games.
His involvement in the PL Asia Trophy was at the role of wing-back as the manager then was known for his formation with wing-backs at his former team Ajax. This new role showcased his defensive capabilities which led him to switch permanently to a full-back role. However, the defender saw a lack of game time under Frank de Boer who preferred Timothy Fosu-Menah or Martin Kelly at right-back.
After De Boer was sacked and Roy Hodgson was appointed, frustration for Wan-Bissaka grew as the newly appointed manager favored Joel Ward at right-back leading him to air his frustrations at Hodgson in the form of asking permission for a loan.
An opportunity presented itself on 25 February 2018, Wan-Bissaka made his first-team debut for Crystal Palace in the midst of an injury crisis against Tottenham Hotspur at Selhurst Park which resulted in a 0-1 loss.
The Defender went on to play all but four minutes of the four matches played in March and bagged the club’s Player Of The Month award by winning 65% of the supporters’ votes. “He got in, he did well and he never looked back.” said Hodgson.
Despite being a winger in his early days, his performances at right-back were effortless and saw him feature prominently in the club’s 2018/2019 campaign. He was named the club’s POTM for August, September, October, and March.
In April 2019, he was named Crystal Palace player of the year for his dazzling display throughout the season. Defensive ability makes him a key player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Aaron Wan-Bissaka: “Aaron is one of the best upcoming defenders in the Premier League.
He has the right work ethic, talent and mentality to play for Manchester United and he fits exactly the type of player that we are looking to bring to help us improve.”
What to Expect
Ranked 3rd in the most tackles in the Premier League after Everton’s Gueye and Leicester City’s Ndidi with 129 tackles makes one wonder why he was even a winger in the first place. “I was kind of shocked by how good he was when I played against him, I’ve played against a few decent right-backs, to be honest, he’s one of them. You may go past him but he always manages to get a last-ditch tackle in.” Former teammate Wilfried Zaha said.
The 6ft tall defender has the speed to raid the flanks easily and utilizes his long legs in tackles. Having been beaten only 10 times in 3,135 minutes of football, those numbers are even more impressive when Liverpool’s Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold are taken into consideration.
The PFA Team Of The Year duo were gotten past 31 and 32 times respectively. The stats behind Wan-Bissaka’s defensive prowess are impeccable and make him a rare full-back these days as full-backs are depreciating in terms of effective one-on-one quality.
His total of 84 interceptions place him below only Etienne Capoue of Watford, his ability to detect danger and eliminate at his young age makes him stand out. Manchester United’s woes can be considered solved to an extent as the signing of a footballer like Aaron Wan-Bissaka can only improve a team’s quality.
Much will be expected from the youngster next season from Manchester United fans and he is expected to deliver as he has shown that he possesses the chops to excel at a “Top 6” team.