Aaron Wan-Bissaka during Manchester United's Premier League game with Southampton.

Why club legend Irwin is a big fan of Wan-Bissaka

Thursday 05 September 2019 07:00

Club legend Denis Irwin admits he has been surprised by just how impressive summer signing Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been since joining Manchester United.

The no.29 moved to the Reds from Crystal Palace during the off-season and has since fitted in well at right-back.

Aaron has started all four Premier League games so far this campaign and his superb form even earned him a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad last week, although the young defender has subsequently been forced to withdraw due to a back issue.

Wan-Bissaka is also one of three nominees for United's August Player of the Month award, alongside Harry Maguire and Daniel James. The winner of that prize will be named at 10:00 BST on Friday.

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Irwin: My verdict on the new signings

Have you voted for the August Player of the Month yet? Here’s Denis Irwin with his take on the nominees...

One of our greatest ever full-backs, Irwin believes that Wan-Bissaka’s sensational start is even more impressive when you consider he spent most of his youth career playing as a winger.

The Irishman thinks Aaron’s natural defensive instincts means he never looks out of place as part of a back four.

“I saw him play for Palace quite a bit last year, and he only played for the Palace first team for 15 months,” Denis told us, during an event for club sponsors Remington on Wednesday.
“He spent [his younger] years as a right winger, so what surprises me is how good he is defensively. Not just the tackling, because we saw that last year and in the first four games of this season, but the positions he takes up are very good.

“You always worry about a winger when they transform into a full-back, it can take them a while to get used to that. He seems really good at that. Obviously he’s a young lad and has a lot to learn yet, but he’s been a real plus.

“Last year we conceded 54 goals in 38 games. That’s not really Manchester United, we’ve always been good defensively. We need to strengthen, which we have done, and we need to keep more clean sheets,” he added.
All 10 Wan-Bissaka tackles v Saints Video

All 10 Wan-Bissaka tackles v Saints

Last Saturday, Wan-Bissaka became the first Premier League player this season to make 10 tackles in a game...

The right-back is not the only new recruit who has impressed Denis in the early parts of the season, so too, has winger Daniel James.

“He’s a player that can play on both wings and can cut in on his left and right,” said Denis. “I think we’ve seen that already. 

“He’s not afraid to run at players with his pace and you always want players like that to chip in with goals, but to score three in four is a really great start for him. Some of the balls he puts in, particular in the latter stages against Southampton last Saturday, were a joy to watch. He’s been brilliant.”

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