Wan-Bissaka out to enjoy more special moments
Aaron Wan-Bissaka is looking for more special moments going forward as the Manchester United defender approaches two big cup contests for the Reds.
The right-back provided the assist with a clever cross for Anthony Martial to head the opener in the vital victory over Aston Villa, last time out, in Friday's Premier League clash at Old Trafford.
With Manchester City due at the Theatre of Dreams on Wednesday, in the Carabao Cup semi-final, and Watford to follow on Saturday in the Emirates FA Cup third round, there is little time to reflect but the defender has some fond memories of facing our neighbours.
Indeed, when United Review asked him to pick his best performance of last year, he chose the final game with fans present at our stadium, the 2-0 victory over the Blues.
"I’ll have to have a think about it.," he deliberated. "The derby against Manchester City [March’s 2-0 win]. I would say that would be my best one. I enjoyed that one; I always enjoy those games to be honest. Raheem Sterling is a player who just doesn’t stop. He keeps coming, keeps coming at you and that keeps the battle going throughout. After every tackle, I just wanted to go again and keep doing it to help the team."
Aaron's shackling of danger-man Sterling has been a feature of some of the recent derbies and the England international will need close attention again in midweek, after helping Pep Guardiola's side ease to victory at Chelsea on Sunday.
Of course, 'The Spider' is well known for his dogged defending and there was one extraordinary hooked clearance at the back post during the win over Villa. However, he is also keen to continue improving his attacking game, which was evident with the assist.
"I do work on it," he told us, when asked about getting more goals and assists. "The staff are helping me do that all the time in training. They like me to go up and link with the attack, when I can."
And who can forget his wonder strike at Newcastle earlier this term, which was an obvious highlight.
"I enjoyed that one!" Aaron enthused. "I will always remember that one. There were no fans, so it was pretty quiet, but when you score, you just want to celebrate. I enjoyed that moment with the team, even though there were no supporters."
Certainly, Wan-Bissaka's colleagues loved it too - even though it took them by surprise, as Bruno Fernandes joked with us during his recent interview.
"Bruno helps everyone – on and off the pitch," explained the full-back. "He tells me before the game what he thinks I should do and which positions he thinks I should get into when he gets the ball, and where I should be. He has done it with the other players, and I can see that, along with the impact that he has made.
“When I scored my goal, he said he couldn’t believe I could shoot! That goal there was to show him!"
So what does the future have in store for our tenacious tackler? His ambitions for this year were focused on the team performing well and continuing to head in the right direction.
"Just for the team to finish as high as we possibly can in the table and, hopefully, bring a few trophies back to the club," he explained. "The match against Watford coming up is another cup game and it’s certainly a competition we want to go far in. I think we’ve just had a turnaround since the slow start to the season. You can see the position we are in now, how things have changed. The results have been coming good and I hope it can continue.
And when we asked whether he feels like a young player, at 23, who is still to reach his peak, he replied: “Yeah – in football now, it might be a few more years before I hit my peak, but once you turn 23, you’re not young anymore. That title ‘young’ has left me now!"