Graeme Souness suggests Aaron Wan-Bissaka was not worth £50 million

  • Rob Swan

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has enjoyed an encouraging debut season with Manchester United following his £50 million move from Crystal Palace last summer.

The 22-year-old has made the right-back slot his own at Old Trafford with a series of impressive performances.

Wan-Bissaka has been particularly impressive defensively. Despite his tendency to go to ground, the full-back has a remarkable knack for timing his tackles to perfection.

At the opposite end of the pitch, the England Under-21 international is improving all the time.

After providing an assist for Anthony Martial against Chelsea in February, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told reporters: “When you play at Man United as a full back you do have to provide assists. That’s just part and parcel of being here, so he’s getting more and more of them.

“We always knew that he was going to be hard to beat. He’s one of the best one v one defenders I’ve ever seen, but he used to be a winger when he was younger, so he’s got it in him.”

However, one man who is yet to be convinced about Wan-Bissaka is Graeme Souness.

The outspoken pundit, who usually reserves his criticism for Wan-Bissaka’s teammate Paul Pogba, has questioned the right-back ahead of United’s Premier League clash against Tottenham.

“The stats say that Aaron Wan-Bissaka is one of the Premier League’s top tacklers, but should he not be a bit more than that for £50million?” Souness told The Times.

“Should he not be the complete package as a right back at that price? He’s good defensively and one on one, but it’s the other end of the game, which is so important for a full back now, that he’s not so good at, namely getting into the last third and delivering the right ball.


“I’d also like to see him stay on his feet more, rather than lunging into last-minute challenges.

“I’d rather have a defender who anticipates danger and deals with it without having to go on their backside all the time, which tells me you’re not reading the game, than the top tackler.

“The minute you go to ground today, fouls will be given against you. Tackling is basically not allowed any more, it’s discouraged in modern football and that trend is only going to continue.”

As you can probably imagine, Souness’ comments have gone down badly with United supporters on social media.

But does the Liverpool legend have a point?


While the point about Wan-Bissaka needing to improve in an attacking sense might be true, it seems a little harsh to criticise the defender’s tendency to go to ground when so many of his tackles are perfectly timed.

Tackling is one of the strongest aspects of Wan-Bissaka’s game and one of the reasons United surely would have brought him to Old Trafford in the first place.

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