It would be an understatement to say this summer could be one of the most important in Manchester United’s recent history.
The full-time appointment of Ole Gunner Solskjaer has backfired already, with the United legend stumbling the moment the news broke, and fans have turned against players they once saw as heroes in the final weeks of an embarrassing run-in in the league.
Big moves are expected at Old Trafford this summer, and with club captain Antonio Valencia departing Manchester this window, a new right-back will be needed to challenge Diogo Dalot.
Two big names are already stealing the headlines.
The Manchester Evening News report that Napoli defender Elseid Hysaj, who has personally expressed his desire to leave the Serie A giants this summer, is on United’s radar, whereas the Daily Mail claim Crystal Palace starlet Aaron Wan-Bissaka is also on the Red Devils’ list for this transfer window.
There is no question that either addition would be a massive improvement for the Manchester giants this summer, but who should Solskjaer look to sign based on form over the past season.
Whilst Hysaj is more experienced, having played well over 150 games for Napoli and being a mainstay for the club over the past four seasons, as well as an essential clog for the Albanian national team, there is no question that Wan-Bissaka would be the smarter and more exciting move for United.
Looking at the numbers, Wan-Bissaka defensively out-classed Hysaj this season, who played eight games less than the Palace superstar and played for a side many would consider more water-tight than the south London side, and it’s these impressive numbers at the back that make the England U-21 international such a coveted talent.
Whilst Wan-Bissaka is more than comfortable going forward, as exhibited by his three assists and 0.4 key passes per game, it’s his defensive stats that make him stick out against not just Hysaj, but most right-backs in the game today, and it’s these extraordinary numbers that make the 21-year-old the player Solskjaer should go for this summer.
United’s defence is, and has been for a long time, an a far-cry from the solidity which it was historically renowned for under Sir Alex Ferguson. Though the main problems lie centrally, signing Wan-Bissaka will add defensive solidity down the right channel for many years to come.
The summer is massive for United and the club need to ensure every new signing is made with progressive intentions in mind, and after the season Wan-Bissaka had, there is no better right-back for Solskjaer to sign than the Palace man.