Eighteen months after his career at Old Trafford, Aaron Wan-Bissaka is already an established pillar of Manchester United’s defense.

His no-nonsense style has stifled many Premier League attackers and earned the 23-year-old rave reviews as the division’s most tenacious tackler.

After a decade of instability for United as a right-back, Wan-Bissaka has embraced the position and handled the size of the game just as he can for one of the greatest clubs in world football – staying true to himself.

“There is always pressure for any player who changes clubs when it comes to what to expect and how to settle in,” he told Sky Sports exclusively. “But with this club everything came together, I knew there was pressure.

“As a kid you can only play week after week in a club like this. The main thing was to play without fear and be myself and the rest would be blocked.”

Saturday, February 6th, 7:45 p.m.

Start at 8:00 p.m.

Wan-Bissaka’s fearsome reputation was rooted in the Crystal Palace and was a defining feature of his time at Manchester United, where it continues to be used.

Under the supervision of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Wan-Bissaka’s strengths were identified and his defense craft refined. This resulted in the emergence of a player who not only had immaculate technique, but also had a better sense of when to take on a challenge.

WAN-BISSAKA, PA
Picture:
Wan-Bissaka has played the most tackles in the Premier League this season

“That was about 17 years [my tackling] was recognized and since then I have focused more on it and added more to my game, “he added.

“Normally, if someone wanted to take over me, I would approach them beforehand, now I’ll approach them anyway. It was about learning to take control of these situations instead of waiting for them.”

For all of his defensive exploits, one criticism that continues to be directed at Wan-Bissaka, given the offensive qualities of his colleagues in the Premier League, is the discrepancy between the effectiveness of his attacking play and the defensive duties.

Wan-Bissaka may have doubled his career goals with the opening game in Manchester United’s 9-0 win over Southampton on Tuesday, but with 55 Premier League appearances, just two goals and five assists, it’s an aspect of his game he really wants to improve.



Thumbnail



3:34


WATCH FOR FREE: Highlights of Manchester United’s victory over Southampton.

“That’s why I came to this club,” added Wan-Bissaka. “This club can help me with that. I want to become a better player every year.

“I’m not really focused on stats right now, but at the end of the season I look back and see if it’s better than the previous season and the season before that.”

Wan-Bissaka may have chosen to approach Old Trafford life in his own way, but the overall goal is a well-known, if somewhat forgotten, goal at Manchester United that has a Premier League title and continued success beyond that brings.

WAN-BISSAKA, PA
Picture:
Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s second goal in the Premier League sparked Man Utd’s 9-0 win over Southampton

“Naturally, [winning the Premier League is the target]and a couple of cups with it, “he added.

“It would mean a lot, especially after the club’s history, to win trophies and lots of them. It would be good to get that back.”

“The mood in the camp was good. It wasn’t great to accept the loss [to Sheffield United] But we didn’t let that stop us from getting our hands on the Premier League.

“The team spirit is still high, as long as we stick together we can get back to the shape we were before.”

Just as players have been forced to think twice about Wan-Bissaka on the field, so too should those who think of doubting the goals he set for a continuation of United’s revival against Everton on Saturday only lead to the realization of A title challenge that has been around for eight years.