Crystal Palace finally seem set to see a fan favourite return to Selhurst Park…
According to sports writer Sam Pilger, Aaron Wan-Bissaka could be preparing for an SE25 homecoming after an underwhelming spell at Manchester United.
Taking to Twitter, Pilger stated: “It is looking increasingly likely Aaron Wan-Bissaka will leave Manchester United and return to Crystal Palace before the end of the transfer window”.
Having sold the youngster for an astronomical fee, to see him return just three years later for what we can assume will be a heavily reduced fee (given reports of a possible £10m swoop) would be a transfer masterclass from Dougie Freedman.
The 24-year-old’s stock has dropped dramatically, but if anyone knows the value that he can offer to a team it is Palace, from whose academy he emerged. When he first left the club, Dave O’Grady labelled him an “unstoppable force”, denoting just how highly Wan-Bissaka was rated.
His defensive output has continued to be outstanding, as he ranks in the top 3% for interceptions and top 1% for blocks per 90 among positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues over the past 12 months.
It is offensively where Wan-Bissaka has fallen short at Old Trafford, but with the summer addition of Chris Richards, the Eagles would quickly have two varied profiles of full-back who both excel in their respective fields.
To bring back their academy graduate, who has gone away and earned invaluable Champions League experience with United, to a considerably less pressured environment in Selhurst Park could see him return to his best.
If the 24-year-old can improve upon his disappointing 23% accurate cross rate, there is every chance that he could be one of the best all-round full-backs in the Premier League.
His 59% dribble success rate is indicative of a player who wants to get forward, and often successfully, so perhaps Vieira can help to make Wan-Bissaka a tidier full-back once he gets into the final third.
If he were to return to Selhurst Park for just 20% of the fee at which Palace sold him in 2019, it would mark a sensational transfer masterclass from Freedman.