Thu. Oct 29th, 2020

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Solskjaer praises ‘exceptional one-on-one skills’ of Wan-Bissaka after Gary Neville concerns

4 min read

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has assured Aaron Wan-Bissaka he doesn’t expect him to turn into another Trent Alexander-Arnold to be a hit at Manchester United.

Wan-Bissaka, who cost £50million from Crystal Palace a year ago, is under the spotlight after missing out on Gareth Southgate’s extended England squad last week.

He is the first United regular since Steve Bruce to remain uncapped and former player Gary Neville is concerned the defender is under pressure to match the attacking output of Alexander-Arnold and Kyle Walker rather than play to his strengths.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that Aaron Wan-Bissaka needs to improve his attacking play

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that Aaron Wan-Bissaka needs to improve his attacking play

‘People say Aaron Wan-Bissaka has to improve going forward but I say he is a fantastic defensive right back,’ said Neville.

Solskjaer saw United ship three goals against Palace having left Wan-Bissaka on the bench and he struggled in the 3-2 win at Brighton when recalled.

With Jose Mourinho’s Spurs side at Old Trafford on Sunday, the United boss has made it clear the 22-year-old has to improve – but to ignore any comparisons with Alexander-Arnold at Liverpool.

‘Aaron is still very young still and hasn’t played full back for many years,’ said Solskjaer.

‘He came on to the scene at Palace and had exceptional defensive one-against-one skills. He must be the best for me – it is virtually impossible to go past him.

‘There are different aspects to his game he needs to learn and be better at. He knows that. That comes down to what he wants to do every single day.

Gary Neville is concerned Wan-Bissaka is under pressure to match attacking output of others

Gary Neville is concerned Wan-Bissaka is under pressure to match attacking output of others

‘Last season was Aaron’s first at Man United and he grew in respect of his confidence. He saw he fits in.

‘He knows we trust him. The coaches here are fantastic, they help him, and the next step now is for him to kick that on.

‘Of course he’s not going to have the qualities maybe as Trent who is probably the best crosser of the ball in Europe at the moment.

‘But why not look at Aaron and say: “Yeah, your qualities are the best here and you can definitely improve.” We’ve discussed that.’

Signing a world-class winger down the right may reduce the need for Wan-Bissaka to add assists. He only made four last season – nine fewer than Alexander-Arnold.

Solskjaer knows that Wan-Bissaka can't be compared with Trent Alexander-Arnold

Solskjaer knows that Wan-Bissaka can’t be compared with Trent Alexander-Arnold

United seem to have chased Jadon Sancho all window with Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele a loan back-up.

Having seen big names like Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku come and go without silverware, Solskjaer said: ‘We have to be very thorough and very sure when we put big money down for players.

‘They have to be right for now, for the future and for the group that is already here. It’s more complex than just pointing a finger at a player and saying “he’s got the quality.”’

After a rocky opening, Solskjaer has to decide whether to recall Eric Bailly to his Premier League line-up after the Cameroon defender helped United keep a clean sheet in the Carabao Cup at Brighton in midweek.

United have a busy October with Chelsea, Arsenal and the resumption of the Champions League coming up after the international break.

The United boss insists he has full trust in Wan-Bissaka and priased his defensive attributes

The United boss insists he has full trust in Wan-Bissaka and priased his defensive attributes

‘It’s about how we can deal with all of that,’ said Solskjaer. ‘Last season we started badly and though we ended up third, probably higher than anyone thought, we wouldn’t want to be playing catch-up a lot of points behind.’

Sadly, a United-Tottenham game at Old Trafford would usually attract a noisy full house and Solskjaer has added his voice to those who are missing live fans at the stadium.

‘It’s nowhere near what we see and deem as the beautiful game because that’s with the fans and their passion,’ he said.

‘It’s when Scott McTominay scores a goal in injury-time against Man City and slides with the fans. That’s what football is about and hopefully we can get back to it.

United’s only major summer signing so far Donny van de Beek will hope to get his first Premier League start with Paul Pogba possibly at risk to being demoted to the bench.

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