In 2019, Aaron Wan-Bissaka cost the team close to £50 million, and he is already beginning to recoup his investment.
Ever since he paid £50 million to join Manchester United four years ago, Aaron Wan-Bissaka has come full circle.
The two have been battling for one shirt ever since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer signed them, just a year after Jose Mourinho selected Diogo Dalot as his favorite choice at right-back. Last season, Dalot seemed to be on the upswing under Erik ten Hag, but Wan-Bissaka is now the dominant player.
One can even contend that Ten Hag cannot currently drop the former Crystal Palace defender. Wan-Bissaka had that status under Solskjaer, possibly prematurely, but in recent months, he has significantly improved, forcing the Dutchman to rethink his transfer strategy.
When Ten Hag was first hired, it was anticipated that United would seek out a different right-back, with names like Jeremie Frimpong, Benjamin Pavard, and Denzel Dumfries all making the rounds. However, the club’s No. 29 now appears to be here to stay.
Soon after his high-profile arrival, Solskjaer anticipated Wan-Bissaka would establish himself as a mainstay. Although it didn’t happen under his supervision, the latter has dispelled a few myths while proving his former manager correct.
“We saw an exceptional defender when I watched him last season,” the Norwegian stated following Wan-Bissaka’s first season. The best full-backs right now have occasionally been wingers, so it’s also in him [attacking play] because of that. To play the style we want, we rely on the full-backs to move forward. I’m thrilled with his development.
Statistics don’t support Solskjaer up there; he has two goals and 12 assists over 164 games. However, on the first day of current season, the defender set up Raphael Varane for a key winner against Wolves, and he has been a bright star for United thus far this campaign, vividly highlighting an improvement in attacking areas.
Ten Hag reflected on Wan-Bissaka’s accomplishments in May of this year and remarked, “He has progressed a lot, as many players have improved during this season. One of a manager’s responsibilities is to accomplish that, and we are really satisfied with that since players are progressing. Individuals advance greatly within the work of the team. Aaron undoubtedly belongs to this group.
Wan-Bissaka only needed 76 minutes this season to match his 2022/2023 assist total. With his attacking return, he may never match Trent Alexander-Arnold or Reece James, but when combined with his unmatched defensive skills, United now has a player who may, theoretically, justify the expense.
Solskjaer was aware that it was present. Ten Hag and his coaching staff were successful in getting it going.