The Premier League RB debate chugs along at a rapid pace, the seasons may change and so do the players’ forms, but the discourse rages on with no end in sight.
In recent seasons, the primary protagonists have been the likes of Reece James, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kyle Walker among others.
Another contender that has been dropping in and out of the race over the last few years is Manchester United’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
The 25-year-old has been in the spotlight ever since his £45 million move to Old Trafford from Crystal Palace.
Wan-Bissaka earned a solid reputation during his spell at Selhurst Park, although he failed to fare nearly as well during his first year at Man United.
The fullback has received swathes of criticism at numerous points throughout his United career thus far, with many even branding him to be a transfer failure.
Despite the noise, AWB has remained a determined figure.
The fullback made sure to put in the work instead of relaxing during the break before pre-season, and by the looks of it, his persistence is finally beginning to pay dividends.
Wan-Bissaka has climbed up Erik Ten Hag’s team sheet, with the Dutchman handing more and more starts to the fullback.
The 25-year-old’s most recent appearance came in the all-important FA Cup semi-final against Brighton, and Wan-Bissaka made sure to deliver when it counted the most.
Deployed down United’s right, the fullback was imperious throughout the game, as he effectively handled the livewire that is Karou Mitoma.
The Japanese forward has left numerous defenders dizzy in his wake, but even he had to admit defeat against Wan-Bissaka during a post-match conference.
After the game, Mitoma said ‘(Wan-Bissaka) is a strong opponent, that is what I thought while I was playing. But there were a lot of scenes where his legs stretched at the end, or he got the ball down at the back. I think it was a complete defeat.’
Mitoma’s statement is reflected by AWB’s stats from the game, as the fullback won all of his ground duels (6/6), which included an exemplary tackle from the back as mentioned by Mitoma.
He also earned praise from fellow Englishman James Maddison, who made a brave declaration after viewing Wan-Bissaka’s performance.
The Leicester midfielder proclaimed AWB to be the best 1v1 defender in the world ‘bar none’, which is actually a pretty sound Football opinion from the Foxes’ star.
While the offensive side of Wan-Bissaka’s game leaves much to be desired, his defensive capabilities are known to be outstanding.
The fullback is usually unbeatable during 1v1 situations, from Neymar and Kylian Mbappe to Sadio Mane and Wilfred Zaha, AWB has famously repelled them all.
His last ditch lunges, or ‘Spiderman tackles’ as Football Twitter has branded them, have denied many wingers from getting the drop on him on countless occasions.
Some noteworthy statistics further bolster Maddison’s claims.
Out of 571 attempted tackles since 2017/18, Wan-Bissaka has completed 449 with a success rate of 78.6%. In that time, he has been dribbled past just 56 times, a truly astounding figure.
All things considered, Maddison’s claim certainly holds plenty of weight, and as such, it’s time Wan-Bissaka gets the respect he deserves.
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