A point away from league leaders Chelsea was close to being a much-needed three for Manchester United on Sunday.
Jadon Sancho’s converted strike from Jorginho’s mistake would have been enough to secure the victory. Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s clumsy flick inside his own box, however, caused him to cut Thiago Silva’s heels, leading to a costly penalty in which Jorginho was able to atone for his past error.
The mistake ended another afternoon to forget United’s right-back, who has been under par for some time. His form has been a persistent problem exacerbated by lack of competition behind the 24-year-old.
It’s no secret that the club made Kieran Trippier a key target in the summer, as they were aware that they needed a more multifaceted attacking presence in that area of the pitch. However, the move never turned into anything, leaving Diogo Dalot as United’s only real right-wing cover.
Dalot himself has been subject to his own reasonable share of transfer interests, and MEN has reported that Jose Mourinho’s Roma are eager to pick him up in January – if United restore a switch to Trippier.
The young Ethan Laird looks like he may one day develop into Wan-Bissaka’s successor and continues to impress on loan at Swansea. He has already secured four assists for the Swans this season – Wan Bissaka has yet to secure one.
We are in a football age where wing-backs have evolved from being primarily defense-oriented to auxiliary attackers. Wan-Bissaka’s play, however, has rarely reflected this change.
He looks at his most comfortable behind the ball instead of in front of it, and contributions inside the attacking third are almost always at a premium.
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The former Palace player has only registered ten assists since arriving at Old Trafford in 2019, while this season he has only played seven passes that have led to a shot on goal and he has on average fewer than two posts and passes into the penalty area per. 90.
Wan-Bissaka has previously been able to compensate for his lack of influence in the attack with consistency in defense. Still, his performance without the ball has not been near enough to excuse his bluntness with it.
United will continue with the 24-year-old due to a lack of opportunities, but with Ralf Rangnick now at the helm, his long-term future at the club will certainly come under scrutiny, and rightly so.
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