Manchester United is undoubtedly one of the biggest clubs in Europe but they have struggled over recent years to be at the level fans had become accustomed to. Sir Alex Ferguson had made the club a threat against any and every opponent until his retirement. United’s defence was always like a wall and the right-back position was held by Gary Neville for most of Sir Alex’s period. Neville was a fantastic full-back who helped in attack while being solid in defence. However, since Neville’s retirement in January 2011, the club struggled to find a proper full-back to replace the United legend.
Sir Alex had faith in Brazilian Rafael and brought him to the club in 2008. As Neville got older and picked up more injuries, Rafael was given more opportunities in the first team, before being given the no.2 shirt at the start of 2012-13 season after Neville’s retirement.
Rafael’s days were numbered at the club after Louis van Gaal took over as managed. He implemented the 3-4-3 formation, even though the supporters saw Rafael as seeing his career at the club, and no football betting tips would have suggested he was about to leave. But Van Gaal didn’t think he was good enough and Rafael joined Lyon after limited playing time.
Van Gaal signed highly rated Matteo Darmian after the full-back featured in the Serie A team of the season in 2015. However, the player also failed to shine at the club and the manager became frustrated with him and decided to play Antonio Valencia at the position, even though he was originally a winger. He was not supposed to be playing in that position permanently but after Van Gaal’s departure, Jose Mourinho also kept him at right-back, with him also becoming captain.
Before the 2018-19 season started, Mourinho was left fuming with the board because he desperately wanted to bring in new defenders. Mourinho wanted to make his defence stronger just like his rivals Manchester City and Liverpool were.
Finally, under new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, funds for a new right-back were made available, Aaron Wan-Bissaka joined from Crystal Palace and already soccer bets would suggest he has the makings of a player who will be included in the team of the year for the season ahead.
Despite being expensive, it looks as though he is worth it, with United’s wait for a top quality right-back is now over. Wan-Bissaka’s numbers last season were very impressive after having made the third-most tackles (129) of any player in the Premier League and the second-most interceptions (84). His work-rate and pace are unparalleled, which makes him a threat in the attack as well.
Solskjaer has described the 21-year-old right-back as “one of the best upcoming defenders in the Premier League” and believes he has all the attributes to succeed at Old Trafford. Wan-Bissaka has proven him right until now, after he has shown an incredible performance in his first match against Chelsea in the Premier League and a competent display against Wolves. He played a vital role in earning a clean sheet against the London club and is expected to do so many times in this season.
The young English international has finally ended the wait of Manchester United fans for the proper full-back that they have been craving for a very long time.