Manchester United fans can expect a subscription in the January transfer window – but Aaron Wan-Bissaka you will probably be happy if you don’t.
The young defender had a mixed start to the season and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is open to signing another right-back this month if the right opportunity arises.
United’s The midweek victory over Fulham represented yet another such mix for the 23-year-old, who appeared to be in a strange alternate universe in which his strengths and weaknesses had been reversed, while the England defender struggled to defend but was impressed with their crosses in the box.
A lapse in concentration caused Wan-Bissaka to play Ademola Lookman in play while Fulham took the lead at Craven Cottage, the social media reaction to his unfortunate mistake was almost as expected.
Although he was a breath of fresh air on United’s starting lineup, there is certainly a growing argument for signing a new option as a right back, even if it is just to rekindle the fight in Wan-Bissaka as Alex Telles did for Luke Shaw.
Along with Bruno Fernandes and Harry Maguire, it is fair to suggest that Wan-Bissaka is the only other player on the starting lineup who is not in danger of losing his usual spot.
As good as he plays, he seems safe to maintain his right-back position, something that naturally brings with it the concern for complacency.
What makes the situation a little more complicated is that United already has three alternatives in their books – if any of them are seen as a true candidate for regular playing time, it remains to be seen.
Diogo Dalot and Ethan Laird are enjoying encouraging loan periods at AC Milan and MK Dons, respectively, while academy graduate Brandon Williams is being targeted by Premier League clubs on a temporary contract.
Dalot is the eldest of the trio, only 21, which suggests that hiring a short-term veteran may be better than looking for another young man who is still in the early stages of his career.
United shelved plans to sign Atletico Madrid right-back Kieran Trippier this month, amid uncertainty over the outcome of his worldwide ban on violating betting rules, but he can still look to hire another defender if the right deal comes up before the final day.
Solskjaer has already reduced the options at his disposal by allowing Timothy Fosu-Mensah to join Bayer Leverkusen on a permanent contract last week, while young Portuguese Dalot could follow a similar path in the summer.
“It’s always good to have two players for a position because you need backup, but Aaron Wan-Bissaka has done incredibly well,” said former United manager Rene Meulensteen earlier this week.
“He’s still young, he’s in shape and he learns every day in training.
“He’s one of the best one-on-one defenders in the league and I’m sure the coaching staff is working hard with him on his game. He’s there for me to stay for a long, long time.”
Meulensteen is right to say that Wan-Bissaka remains an excellent talent for the future, but even if United do not want direct competition for the ex-man from Crystal Palace, they must recognize the need for a replacement if he faces a replacement. passing through the sides.
Perhaps the biggest contribution to recent concentration failures has been fatigue, with Wan-Bissaka playing 71 of 91 games since joining the club in the summer 2019 transfer window.
It is crucial to remember how weak United’s right-back options were before the 23-year-old was signed for £ 50 million, with Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young taking over since Rafael da Silva left in 2015.
Even at his worst, Wan-Bissaka is better than most of the club’s other options, but if United want to fight on all fronts this season, they recognize that they will need a break.
Now it is up to Solskjaer to decide whether it is through a new hire or giving one of his young people a fair chance to prove his worth.