On Saturday against Brighton, Man United will resume Premier League play, although they are short on options on the right wing.
Since taking over as Manchester United manager, Erik ten Hag has made numerous players better, but Aaron Wan-Bissaka is possibly his biggest accomplishment.
Even before the manager hung images of his family in his new office, it appeared that his days at Old Trafford were numbered. A new right-back was instantly named one of Ten Hag’s key goals in his first summer transfer window as it became evident very early on that he didn’t think highly of Wan-Bissaka.
However, due to the catastrophic status of United’s unbalanced team, numerous other positions received priority, leading to the hiring of two new midfielders, a center-back, and a right winger. Time and money were running out when that business was completed.
Ten Hag was forced to make do with the options he already had when a half-hearted attempt to borrow Sergino Dest failed. Even still, Wan-Bissaka received bad news because Diogo Dalot was the top option.
The Portuguese player only left the team because of a suspension after starting the first 13 consecutive Premier League games. However, Dalot later had an injury during the World Cup that forced him to miss nine of the ensuing 10 games.
For Wan-Bissaka, it was a rare opportunity, which he seized with both hands. After a disappointing first three seasons at the club, the possibility of the former Crystal Palace player returning to the fold caused alarm among the supporters.
Wan-Bissaka did, however, start to significantly improve. His reading of the game and much-derided forward ability both improved, and his confidence appeared to be restored. He also displayed fresh skill in the tackle.
By the end of the season, the 25-year-old had displaced Dalot as the top pick, and that trend has continued into the current campaign, with the player starting each of the first four games. Ten Hag’s rule has so far been characterized by Cinderella turnarounds, and Wan-Bissaka may soon have the chance to demonstrate how far he’s come.
No member of a team works alone, therefore a player’s output frequently depends on what their teammates are doing, how well they are playing, where they are positioned, and how much they are contributing. A good rapport between the two players may be quite beneficial because a full-back frequently relies on the winger in front of him to give both defensive assistance and an offensive link-up.