Manchester United right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been told that he will need to improve if he is to become one of the top players at Manchester United. The 22-year-old has done well this season, but as always, there is room for improvement. Last summer, when it was rumoured that United were signing the player, many were suggesting that he could be the best right-back in the Premier League. This season, probably the same people are criticising him.
This season, the 22-year-old has so far made 45 appearances for the club with United facing Sevilla in the semi-final of the UEFA Europa League on Sunday evening. The defender has not yet scored any goals but has four assists in the Premier League. The former Crystal Palace academy graduate has been praised by former Liverpool defender and now Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher but seems to have received critique from others. Tony Cascarino feels that the player could be doing more.
What Wan-Bissaka has done so far this season has been impressive and it seems a long time since we saw Ashley Young at right-back, which did not impress many of United’s supporters. The English defender has shown his ability and will continue to do so. When United signed him, he had just finished his breakthrough season at Palace making a few appearances during the 2017/18 season, actually breaking through during the 2018/19 season. Of course he will need to improve. Cascarino, speaking to The Times, said:
“Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a fantastic one-on-one defender. I’ve seen him keep Son Heung-min quiet, outmanoeuvre Sadio Mane and give Raheem Sterling a very tough time.
“But if he’s going to be a top player for Manchester United, he’s got to offer more offensively.
“He’s got to be an outlet. Full backs are very important in the modern game — look at how much Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson contribute in attack.”
Whilst Wan-Bissaka has not made the impression that Trent Alexander-Arnold has at Liverpool, making 49 appearances, scoring four goals and assisting a further 14 goals in all competitions, we must remember that the 21-year-old Premier League champion has been playing in the league for four seasons now, making his debut in the 2016/17 season and his breakthrough in the 2017/18 season, then rising his performances in the 2018/19 season, impressing this season as Liverpool won the title. Comparisons in a singular season are not all that comparable, especially in this respect. There is the chance that Wan-Bissaka could rise his performances next season and beyond. He will know what he needs to do with Solskjaer saying back in March:
“When you play at Manchester United as a full back you do have to provide assists. That’s just part and parcel of being here, so he’s getting more and more of them.”
Wan-Bissaka may not be the same kind of player as Alexander-Arnold at this moment in time but with four assists to his name so far this season, all in the Premier League, there is potential to come from him, despite being a year older than his Liverpool counterpart. Improvement will be needed to actually get to where he wants to be and Solskjaer will be seeking to get what he wants from his team, which will be attacks coming from the fullback positions. The player has the ability to defend in a way that has been needed at the club, to be offensive in a similar fashion will make him an all-round fullback and definitely a player to be noticed in the future.
Written by John Walker