Exclusive: What gives Wan-Bissaka confidence
Aaron Wan-Bissaka has outlined just how much he loves the art of tackling after adapting quickly to life at Manchester United.
The right-back has promised to show no fear in the red shirt and, after an accomplished debut against Chelsea in the Premier League opener, he was voted our Man of the Match in the 1-1 draw at Wolves on Monday.
Ahead of the match with his former club Crystal Palace on Saturday, the England Under-21 international spoke exclusively to United Review, the official matchday programme, to discuss the early part of his Old Trafford career.
“I just like to play my game, play without fear, do what I’m capable of doing,”he said.
“Was I nervous before my debut? Nah. Me, I block it out. I know what nerves can do. Nerves keep you quiet. I’m just waiting for the game to start. I’m in the changing room, just waiting, thinking: ‘Can this game hurry up and start?’
“The longer it takes, that’s when the nerves could come in, so I just want to get the waiting over and done with. I just want to get into the game, get the ball as much as possible. That stops the nerves.
“Then I like to get the tackles in, because I get a lot of confidence from tackles. The fans help as well, cheering them, so, after that, I want to get into the next one, then the next one. That helps.”
The defender's tackling ability has been a real feature of his play, and has quickly endeared him to the United faithful.
It seems incomprehensible that he was a winger in his Academy days at Palace as he appears to be such a natural when it comes to stopping opponents in their tracks.
“I love tackles, man,” he explained.
“I want to come out with the most tackles from each game; that’s my aim.
“I’m not really happy when I come out of a game without many tackles. At the same time, when I look back at it, it doesn’t mean anything negative, necessarily – it might mean that the winger’s not confident to keep on coming at me, for me to have the chance to tackle him.
“Wingers hate it. When I was a winger, I hated being tackled! When I attempted to beat a player and he slide-tackled me, I’d just think: ‘I don’t want to go down there again,’ and change the route, change my play, you know?”
Wan-Bissaka has settled swiftly at his club and will look to build on the excellent start, with the Eagles up next this weekend. Although shy when being interviewed in front of the cameras, he has bonded well with his colleagues and enjoyed the team outing in to town for a meal recently.
“I’ve settled down now,” he said.
“A couple of weeks back, I found a house to move in to. I just haven’t been out much! We had a team bonding night, which was great. I’m not usually the type to interact, but that was definitely needed on my part.
“It was great to see a bit more of people away from football. I’m new to Manchester, but it’s a nice area and I’ve settled now.
“I’ve made sure I kept my shirt from the Chelsea game, so that’ll be getting framed and going up on the wall at home.”