Manchester United Football Club spent pretty big over the summer, with £130million spent on two key members of the defence.
Harry Maguire has proven to be a real defensive leader – something which this team has lacked over the last few years. Then you have Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who was acquired from Crystal Palace in a £50million deal.
Aptly nicknamed ‘The Spider’, Wan-Bissaka’s defensive brilliance has been evident all season long. In the one-on-one battle, United’s new right-back has shut some of the best wingers down – just ask Raheem Sterling.
Wan-Bissaka deserves all the praise coming his way, though sometimes it means more coming from someone who played the position at a high level. Wes Brown, for example…
The former United icon has heaped praise on the 22-year-old Wan-Bissaka, particularly in one key area; the one-on-one defensive battle…
“What else can you say about Aaron Wan-Bissaka? I’ve not really seen many like him and that’s the honest truth. Defensively, in one-on-ones, he’s definitely one of the best I’ve ever seen. He’s settled in so well and I don’t think there are many players who have got past him this season.” Brown told Sky Sports.
“Yes, there are times when he has made mistakes, like when he dived in to concede the penalty against Watford, but he has learned from them. Since that game, he has just gone back to his normal level. The errors will happen every now and again – they happen to all players – but he’s just got straight back into it and that’s a good sign.”
“It’s at the point now where, whenever he comes up against someone in a one-on-one scenario, you’re more than confident that he will end up winning the ball or clearing it. That shows his confidence as well as his ability. That, really, is all you can ask for in a right-back defender.”
It’s true, Wan-Bissaka has settled in like a dream. First and foremost, the job of a right-back is to stop goals going in rather than making a difference up the other end. The Englishman certainly knows exactly how to do that and now it’s about developing his game.
I’m sure his offensive qualities will come in time, and we have seen some pretty decent balls played into the box, though they have lacked consistency.
In games against sides who like to attack, ala Manchester City or Liverpool, Wan-Bissaka always comes to the fore. When taking on lesser teams, the onus is on the ex-Crystal Palace man to get forward, that’s where he can struggle.
For now, though, we have to be delighted that we have such a solid right-back who can completely shut one side of the field down for the opposition. He’s worth every penny of that £50million price-tag and more. And we’re lucky to call Aaron Wan-Bissaka ours…