It has been a grueling last season for all Manchester United players, due to it being shorter than ever, but still consisting of a huge number of matches played. And when looking at these Man United season ending reviews, there are not many players who had such a draining campaign as Aaron Wan-Bissaka did. The Man United right-back was almost constantly in action and he still managed to deliver a very good campaign and help this team in his role on the pitch.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka has played 54 matches across all five competition Man United were part of and he even managed to accumulate around 4700 minutes on the pitch! That is a huge number which is not easy to sustain. Wan-Bissaka scored two goals in the Premier League in a total of 34 appearances. He also had four assists, while he added another assit in nine Europa League matches and one in six Champions League appearances. Also, he featured in three FA Cup games and in two League Cup matches. He only missed two games due to injury this past season, while sitting out on the bench just four times, one of them being the opening day of the Premier League against his former club Crystal Palace.
But how are Wan-Bissaka’s numbers looking when we take a look at underlying metrics and compare them to other Premier League full-backs? We can see clearly that those stories of Wan-Bissaka stil struggling attacking-wise and being brilliant defensively really are mostly true. While Wan-Bissaka has managed to show some glimpses of quality in attck, it is true that his presence in attack is not bringing as much as it is expected of a modern full-back. His 0.06 expected assists per 90 minutes put him in the 26th percentile and his 1.49 shot-creating actions in only 39th percentile, showing just how many full-backs in the league have been better than him in that regard. He is also not making many touches in opposition box compared to other full-backs (1.1, which is in the 35th percentile according to FBref).
However, his defensive numbers are not just great, but truly extraordinary. He has been making 3.29 blocks per 90 minutes, which puts him into 99th percentile, ultimately meaning he is the best in the country in that regard. His 1.92 interceptions and 3 tackles per 90 minutes put him into 92nd and 90th percentile respectively, while 3.06 clearances per match also are a big number. This further proves the story that Wan-Bissaka is defensively incredibly reliable, but it is definitely the case that we could do with seeing him improve attacking-wise. Man United were quite predictable on the right flank, partly because of inadequate options at right wing, but partly also because of the right-back not being able to provide constant threat from deeper areas.
This past season has been a very good one for Wan-Bissaka, but we could not say it was ideal. Ultimately, it is his attacking deficiencies which have kept Wan-Bissaka from place at the European Championship. England have incredible options at right-back and all the other choices Gareth Southgate are much better attacking-wise, something that is very important to the way not only England play, but also how modern full-backs in most teams usually play.