Aaron Wan-Bissaka came to Manchester United in 2019 after a good season with Crystal Palace. The Red Devils had a lot of expectations from their new young full-back. He was good at tackling but lacked the ability to play the ball. Wan-Bissaka even lost his place in the starting 11.
Erik ten Hag came, and he also opted for Dalot in the right-back position. Later on, Wan-Bissaka received some game time and showed significant signs of improvement, especially with the ball at his feet. This season, he has started in the first two English Premier League games and looks like the first-choice player in the team. Let’s look at some of the areas where the Englishman has significantly improved to get into the first team.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka has always been good with his defence. This season, the full-back has won 56% of his defensive duels and 66.7% of his aerial duels. The 25-year-old also made 14 crucial interceptions.
Improvement on the creative side
Aaron Wan-Bissaka was struggling with the ball at his feet in 2021–22. He averaged around 44 passes per 90 minutes and had a low accuracy rate of 81.3% for a defender. In the 2022–23 season, his average number of passes dropped to 40. However, the accuracy went up to 84%. The above graph shows that the shot assists were not converted by his teammates. Bissaka ended up with zero assists.
This season, the player already has an assist to his name. Bissaka has a 92% pass accuracy rate. If we compare the two shot assists, we can observe that Bissaka has managed to penetrate the opposition penalty box and then attempted some low crosses in front of the goal.
Significant improvement from 2021-22 season
The above viz shows the percentile rank of Aaron Wan-Bissaka from the last two seasons. In the 2021-22 season, we can observe that Bissaka attempted more dribbles, and his passing percentage was also high. Things changed a bit in the 2022-23 season, where he attempted fewer dribbles and opted to penetrate the opposition more than he did in the previous season. Aaron Wan-Bissaka took more touches inside the penalty box, and that shows his confidence with the ball.
Another significant improvement was in the number of shots he took. Other than this, this English defender contested more duels and had more involvement in the plays, which is why Ten Hag opted for him to start in the first two matches.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka will look to cement his place as the first-choice right-back at Old Trafford. He is one of the best tacklers in the business. The full-back is also good at recovering the ball. With some improvement in his attacking abilities and an assist to his name in the current season, the player is likely to grow in confidence in the upcoming games.
Visuals via TFA data viz engine