Manchester United’s right back spot has been a hot topic this transfer window, but Aaron Wan-Bissaka is not ready to give his spot up just yet.
Signed for £50 million in 2019, Aaron Wan-Bissaka has yet to truly kick on from what was a promising first season at Old Trafford.
As United have looked to branch out into a more possession-based style of football, Wan-Bissaka has stagnated due to his weaknesses in this area.
Last season, he eventually lost his place to Diogo Dalot who seemed to suit the side more.
As a result of this, there has been speculation about the future of ‘Spiderman’, with many suggesting he could be on his way out of the door, a bad look for his employers who splashed out such a large fee for him just three years ago.
It showcases a good mentality on the player’s part that he is willing to stay and fight rather than give in and leave, with new boss Erik ten Hag coming in he has the same clean slate that everyone else has.
However, the player feels he is at a stage of his career where he must be playing regular first-team football. Turning 25 in November, he needs to establish himself as the first choice right-back at a top club.
Under Ten Hag, an extremely demanding manager, he will need to work harder than ever before to do this. His ability to counter press with great efficiency will certainly be a welcome quality under the Dutchman, known for his side’s tendency to press with great intensity out of possession.
He will need to make some improvements though. Wan-Bissaka has struggles when in possession, particularly with passing.
He has showcased great ability to evade pressure in his own third and when confident can be an effective ball carrier up the pitch.
His confidence often dictates how he will perform with the ball at his feet, and being so dependent upon confidence is a hurdle, particularly at a club like Manchester United.
As a passer, it is safe to say the number 29 does not impress. Whilst he has a nice inside pass in his locker, his passing range is extremely limited and his crosses are often poorly weighted when delivered.
He also struggles to deliver from standing positions, usually having to be on the move to put a ball in. Diogo Dalot’s ability to be a high-volume progressive passer is one of the main reasons as to why he took his fellow right back’s spot, and if the Englishman wants it back then he must improve this area of his game drastically.
Finally, his work off the ball must improve in some aspects. It was previously mentioned that he is an excellent counter presser, but sometimes he can be too lax when tracking back.
He is often prone to getting caught out at the back post when United are defending crosses, and when attacking his understanding of when to over/underlap is poor.
In his defence, he has never played under a top-quality coach before and Ten Hag might be able to iron out some of these qualities. But it will also require a significant effort on the player’s behalf.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka has some extremely useful qualities, notably his ability to defend dribblers, and is a useful tactical weapon.
If the player puts the work in, and Ten Hag is able to iron out/cover up his weaknesses with good coaching then him staying can only be a good thing for United.
With the side in the Europa League next season, rotation will be key and there should be plenty of game time for Wan-Bissaka should United not sign a right back. If he does not improve however, it is imperative that he is sold next summer once triggering his one-year extension option in his contract in order to retain a respectable fee for him.
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