Aaron Wan-Bissaka: His first interview at United
It's official! Aaron Wan-Bissaka is now a Manchester United player.
The England Under-21 international has completed his move from Crystal Palace, becoming Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's second signing of the summer transfer window following the arrival of Wales winger Daniel James from Swansea City earlier this month.
Aaron will wear the no.29 shirt for the Reds - the same number he wore at his former club Palace.
We sat down with the 21-year-old full-back at the Aon Training Complex for an exclusive first interview, in which he describes his feelings about moving to Old Trafford, discusses his development to date, explains his experience of playing against United and gives a message to the supporters.
Aaron, the deal is done! How does it feel to sign for Manchester United?
“Yeah I am excited to have finally signed for this team. Every kid wants to play for a team like this. I am grateful and it is an honour to represent this club. I think I will improve every step and learn different things around new team-mates. I think Man United is a big club, a big family, a big fan base, and I think they all stick together and are so tight together.”
A lot of people are very proud of your achievements in your young career so far and particularly your family. How happy are you that they can be part of this today?
“Yeah I am really happy. I can see that I have made them proud with this decision and where I have come from, how the journey started, and that makes me kick on and carry on. We stick together and we make decisions on everything. I personally think they know what is right for me and that is the decision I will make. It’s a good moment, especially for where we have come from, you know this tough journey up until now. It’s a good feeling.”
How did you transition from being a winger to one of the most highly-rated full-backs in England?
“I think it started with a formation really, you know with wing-backs, and I was playing on the wing back then but we had to play with wing-backs so that is how I got used to it and got the feel of it. From that I enjoyed it and that is how it really all got started.”
When you were growing up, what sort of things were you trying to develop in your game and were there any players in particular you looked up to? You started out as a winger, right?
“I started out as a striker. Growing up, I used to look at Thierry Henry and I just really wanted to do stuff that he did in the Premier League. That encouraged me to push on and try to make things happen.”
One of our former players Wilf Zaha has spoken about how hard it was to train against you. What was it like training against him and did you learn stuff about your own game?
“Yeah that is when I realised my actual strengths, from playing against him. It was not easy and it was always a challenge, but at the same time it helped me and made me realise what it is to play against players like him in the Premier League.”
Your one-on-one defending is unbelievable and you have got that nickname ‘Spider’. Tell us about that…
“'The Spider' is about the range and length of my legs when I'm lunging to tackle the ball. That's where the nickname comes from.”
What would you say are your best attributes as a player?
“I would say dribbling, speed and tackling.”
You have played against United before so what was it like to play against Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and everybody else?
“United [at Selhurst Park] was my second game in the Premier League and the game wasn’t going to be easy for me, I knew that. So with me I had to just concentrate and at the same time it was good to play against these players. These are superstars. I learned a lot from that game, playing against them, which has helped me in my development.”
Have you spoken to Ole and what did he say to you about Manchester United?
“Yeah I have spoken to him and he has told me how he feels about me. Ole has reassured me about his plans, what he is going to do with the team. That is something I want to be a part of. It was the gaffer’s decision and his plan to rebuild, and to bring the team back to where it is supposed to be. I wanted to be a part of that plan.”
You kept a clean sheet at Old Trafford last season – what do you remember from that experience?
“That was my first time there. I couldn’t believe that stadium! As I said in one of the interviews back then, it was one of the best ones I have played at, for its size, the pitch, the fans and the noise. The atmosphere is always loud.
How much are you looking forward to playing there in the red of United?
“I am looking forward to it. I am excited and I can’t wait to get out there.”
Finally, do you have a message for the fans who are excited to see you play for United?
“I just want to say thanks for welcoming me to this amazing club, I can’t wait to see you and get started. I think it is an honour to represent this club and I can’t wait to engage with the fans. I have seen the support they give in every game. This club is known for winning trophies and I want to be a part of that, to win my first. I can see that the fan base is huge and they support the team through thick and thin. I am going to give everything for the club and for the fantastic fans and I can’t wait to get started.”
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