Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been earning rave reviews for his performances in recent weeks for Manchester United, but ex-Red Devil Mikael Silvestre says he needs to see him against a specific opponent before he can be considered “the best in the world at 1v1”.
Wan-Bissaka has forced his way back onto the reckoning under Erik ten Hag this season, with his display against Brighton in the FA Cup semi-final a particular high point for the full-back, who has previously struggled to live up to his £50m price tag.
“I think Wan-Bissaka for me [was the stand-out player],” Rio Ferdinand said after that game. “Mitoma has been the find of the season for me, he has given every team they have played against huge problems.
“And to be fair to Wan-Bissaka, he put the shackles on him. And we all know how good defensively one vs one Wan-Bissaka is and today he proved again he can handle top class players in good form. When it is me against you, he is as good as anyone out there.”
His numbers are incredible. Of the 2,168 players to have attempted 100+ tackles in Europe’s top five leagues since the start of the 2017-18 season, no-one has a better tackle success rate than Wan-Bissaka. No full-back comes close to his 78.6 per cent success rate from 571 attempts.
And Leicester star James Maddison is similarly impressed.
“AWB is ridiculously good at 1 v 1 defending,” the Leicester playmaker wrote on Twitter. “Probably the best in the world bar none.
“So many wingers run out of ideas when playing directly against him.”
But Silvestre is reserving judgement until Wan-Bissaka comes up against Real Madrid star Vinicius Junior, now considered to be in the top echelon of left wingers in world football.
Silvestre, who won the Champions League and four Premier League titles in his time at United, told bettingexpert: “I don’t think we should say Wan Bissaka is the best in the world at 1v1 but over the years he’s had excellent battles against wingers.”
“I need to see him against Vinicius Junior.”
“It’s good for AWB as he’s earned a starting spot and has a big part to play in the defensive side of things.”
“If his zonal defensive play and positioning was as good as his 1v1 ability he would be a complete defender. He still has some areas to improve.”