Highly rated Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka has finally made his move to Manchester United after weeks of speculation. The young right back joins United for a fee worth in the region of £50 million which is amazing considering he’s played just 42 Premier League matches. He has earned that price tag by putting in Man of the match performances week in week out for Palace, who will now be looking for a right back replacement.
Wan-Bissaka becomes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer second summer signing after the acquisition of Daniel James earlier in the window. Solskjaer on Wan-Bissaka’s move has said:
“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 into the squad to help us improve and push on further. Aaron is a young, hungry player and eager to learn and that’s important at his age. I am delighted he has signed with us and we look forward to continuing his tremendous development so far.”
With the right back still being just 21 years, his player history doesn’t date back too far. He started off at Crystal Palace at the age of just 11 and rose through the ranks, until eventually getting a call up by Frank de Boer for their pre season tour in 2017. He featured in a few of the friendlies under the Dutchman, playing as a wing-back, rather than his usual position at the time, which was a winger. De Boer would only last four Premier League games, getting replaced by Roy Hodgson.
Hodgson preferred others over him so game time was hard to come by in the senior team so he looked elsewhere. Then according to reports, Wan-Bissaka headed to Cambridge United to help further his development but failed to impress former Palace man Shaun Derry. He returned to Selhurst Park but was still positive he could still make it, and he proved himself right.
One training session changed Wan-Bissaka’s life and that isn’t an overstatement. Hodgson tried the Englishman at right back facing up against arguably one of the best dribblers in the league in Wilfried Zaha. The former England manager saw enough in him to deny the defender a loan move in January of 2018.
He wouldn’t need to wait long to make his debut in England’s top flight, after an injury crisis saw him play against Spurs in February and another six Premier League matches that season, earning him the Crystal Palace young player of the season award.
He would come on leaps and bounds in the 2018/19 season, playing 35 times in the Premier League and topping the charts of several defensive statistics. He received the Crystal Palace player of the month on four occasions and ultimately won their player of the year award to top off a great first full season in senior football.
Whilst Wan-Bissaka was sorting out where he’d be playing his club football, he played twice for the England u20s and three times for the u21s, despite playing for DR Congo at a younger youth level. His three u21 games include, England’s disappointing European Championships campaign where Wan-Bissaka didn’t really look himself as he scored an own goal in their match against France.
Fantasy Football Potential
There is always a bit of hesitancy towards new signings and FPL managers will be no different with Aaron Wan-Bissaka as he makes his big move to Old Trafford. However this shouldn’t be the case with Aaron as he more than proved himself last season and the statistics say it all.
Although you don’t directly get points for tackles and interceptions, they aren’t useless to FPL managers. All these defensive stats make up some of the bonus points system so whenever United keep a clean sheet next season, you’ll expect Wan-Bissaka to be in an around the bonuses.
Wan-Bissaka has been priced at £5.5m which is certainly good value for money compared to other full backs at top six sides. Although he doesn’t have the attacking threat that the Liverpool duo do, he isn’t useless in the opposition final third. He provided four assists from right back last season and that number will only rise if he can get ticking in this United team.
There is competition at right back with Diogo Dalot and mostly Ashley Young occupying the position last season. However I can’t see Wan-Bissaka warming the bench considering the money United have paid for him. He will be chucked into the deep end in a United shirt, with his first match of the season coming up against Chelsea at Old Trafford. Will he prove to be a neat signing for Man United, or is he just a one season wonder?
Written by Harry Clark (@HarryClark_)