Home » Opinion: Manchester United must sell Aaron Wan-Bissaka this season

Opinion: Manchester United must sell Aaron Wan-Bissaka this season

by David Abraham

Aaron Wan-Bissaka signed for Manchester United in 2019, leaving Crystal Palace in a deal worth an initial £45m, potentially rising to £50m.

The right-back has been a useful asset for Man United, but the time may have come to let him move on.

In his prime at 25 years old and entering the last year of his contract, the club will need to decide whether to tie him down or let him leave at a premium.

Here’s why Erik ten Hag should opt for the latter.

Transfermarkt currently has Wan-Bissaka at a market value of around €22m. After arguably his best-ever season in a United shirt, his market value is not likely to rise much higher. He is also on weekly wages of £90,000, which would work out to £4.7m over the next season.

By selling Wan-Bissaka now, the club could raise about £23m at the minimum.

Considering the fact that Erik ten Hag reportedly has only a reported £120m to work with in the transfer window, an additional £23m would be a significant addition. The alternative would be keeping the player for an additional season where his stock is likely to fall.

Wan-Bissaka is also not likely to feature prominently next season, as it seems clear that Erik ten Hag prefers Diogo Dalot stylistically.

Dalot has been handed another five-year deal after entering the final year of his initial five-year contract, and clearly, Erik ten Hag sees the Portuguese right back as a significant part of his long-term plans.

This makes sense because the Dutchman’s preferred system requires fullbacks to tuck into midfield to create overloads when United have the ball.

Dalot is much more suited than Wan-Bissaka to adapting to this style of play.

If there was one moment in the season when Erik ten Hag’s team selection seemed to confirm this thought process, it was when United faced Newcastle in the Carabao Cup final.

Despite Wan-Bissaka having started the majority of games after the World Cup, and in spite of the significant attacking threat posed by Alan Saint-Maximin, Dalot got the nod.

As it turned out, he struggled to deal with the Newcastle winger, and Wan-Bissaka was subbed on for the second half, but the takeaway is that with all other things being equal, Ten Hag appears to prefer Dalot over Wan-Bissaka.

Going into next season, with more players who fit the manager’s mould likely to arrive at Old Trafford, it is likely that Erik ten Hag will want to take further steps towards imposing his philosophy.

Wan-Bissaka may see less playing time as the manager may devote more time and resources to players who will fit his system in the long term.

If this is the case, United would be much better off letting him leave now and using the funds generated from his sale to finance the purchase of other assets.

Given the budgetary constraints United will have to deal with in the market, replacing Wan-Bissaka would not necessarily be a priority. Instead, Victor Lindelof, who has played at right-back can deputise for Dalot when necessary.

There is, however, also, a strong case for keeping Wan-Bissaka at Old Trafford. Last season he was brilliant defensively and showed commendable improvement attacking-wise.

Whichever approach the club decides, the decision will need to be taken sooner rather than later.

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