Aaron Wan-Bissaka proved his doubters wrong with an outstanding all round performance against Chelsea.
The 22-year-old’s defensive attributes are not in doubt. He has shown this season that he is a formidable opponent for players to take on and get past.
What has been called into question is his ability to play the wing-back role and help United from an attacking perspective.
His assist for Anthony Martial’s opening goal last night demonstrated he has the ability.
With a neat turn on the edge of the box he found space and delivered a cross David Beckham would have been proud of.
He will have been working on this over the recent break, and it certainly paid off.
This wasn’t out of nowhere
Looking purely at numbers, Wan-Bissaka has work to do. This was just his second assist of the season.
He has shown improvement recently though, and has been let down by two factors.
A lack of movement inside the box has not helped United, and Anthony Martial showed with his goal last night that he does have the presence and aerial ability to take advantage, which he has previously failed to demonstrate.
With Bruno Fernandes in the side United are more dangerous offensively and offer greater unpredictability. This opens up space for Wan-Bissaka and his targets which wasn’t there before.
Wan-Bissaka has been let down by his teammates before. Even in the horror show against Burnley which United lost 2-0, Wan-Bissaka whipped in a perfect cross which Juan Mata managed to mis-kick.
His first assist came at the end of December against Newcastle with a ball whipped in for Marcus Rashford to head into the net.
Now Odion Ighalo is available, United will have greater presence up front and he will help Wan-Bissaka out.
The £50 million summer signing still has work to do, he needs to increase his numbers and provide assists more regularly. His performances have been steady though, and he is better in this area than his critics would have you believe.
Add a developing attacking game to his four clearances, three blocked shots, two interceptions and one tackle against Chelsea and it’s clear Wan-Bissaka is growing into the all round player United want him to become.
United fans need to believe in him, and ignore any outside criticism from rival supporters looking to have a cheap, unwarranted dig.
- Reaction as Manchester United set to net £5m loan fee with Anthony Martial exit agreed
- Manager “really pleased” with Manchester United loanee's performances vs league's best
- 7 players who could leave Manchester United before the transfer deadline
- 10 things we learned from Ralf Rangnick's first 10 games in charge at Manchester United
- Ranking Marcus Rashford's 4 Manchester United injury time winning goals