Transfer Focus: Wan-Bissaka could be Guardiola’s dream Walker upgrade

Pep Guardiola is renowned for his unparalleled man management skills and a recent update from BBC journalist David Ornstein suggests that he could yet work his magic on one of England’s most exciting young prospects, per 5 Live Sport.

What’s the word?

Ornstein appeared on BBC Radio 5 Live yesterday to give a breakdown on what the top clubs are likely to do in the transfer window this summer.

Manchester City have been tipped to sign a left-back in recent months due to Benjamin Mendy’s chronic fitness problems, but Ornstein believes they are also interested in recruiting a new right-back, per 5 Live Sport 14/05/2019 (20:15).

“Aaron Wan Bissaka is very much on Manchester United’s radar as well as Manchester City’s.”

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Man City’s long-term Walker upgrade?

That a player of Wan-Bissaka’s profile is on City’s radar is far from a surprise. He is just 21-years-old and would contribute to the homegrown quota as an English citizen, while his breakthrough campaign at Crystal Palace underlines his exceptional defensive quality.

Kyle Walker has endured a tumultuous season at the club, with a handful of individual errors in December causing supporters to question the true extent of his ability.

There is no disputing his marauding class and effectiveness in the final-third, but his defensive contribution often leaves plenty to be desired.

The same, however, cannot be said of Wan-Bissaka – a player who has affectionately been nicknamed ‘the spider’ by virtue of his incredible ability to tackle his opposite number.

He has completed an average of 3.7 tackles per game this season and 2.4 interceptions, per Whoscored, so there is no doubt City would be acquiring a player with a more natural ability to thrive in the defensive third than Walker.

However, the Palace academy graduate will need to adapt to City’s style to become a success at the Etihad Stadium and make significant improvements to his contribution in the attacking phase.

For Guardiola, the prospect of moulding Wan-Bissaka into a complete full-back will be a mouthwatering one for him to mull over, and under his guidance the aspiring England international could blossom into a superior talent to Walker.

Raheem Sterling has been one of Guardiola’s biggest man-management projects to oversee in recent years and, with that task effectively considered complete, his next one could be on the horizon in the shape of Wan-Bissaka.