Manchester United fans are keen to see how Aaron Wan-Bissaka will perform now that he’s playing for their team. We need not worry that the 21-year-old will prove disappointing. He brings with him a skill set honed by fierce competitive spirit and devotion to excellence; all signs are that he will distinguish himself with honours during the upcoming game in Perth on 13 July.
Born to Play Football
Aaron is the younger son of Ambroise and Elizabeth Bissaka, who emigrated to the UK in the 1990s to escape the war-ravaged Congo. The family settled into a new home at New Addington, Croydon, where they enrolled their boys at Good Shepherd Catholic Primary School.
Aaron took an interest in football from the time he learned to walk. His parents fondly recall the times when, as a wee child, he practised his kicking skills in the family apartment. His zeal sometimes leads to overturned furnishings.
Aaron enjoys a close-knit relationship with his older brother Kevin, who played for Kingstonian and Walton Casuals during his school career. The pair were a common sight in the early 2000s when they honed their skills by playing kickabout games in local parks.
Aaron’s athletic talent soon became obvious. By age 11 he was enrolled at Crystal Palace Academy, where he played from 2011 to 2016.
At one point he was almost dismissed from the school because his youthful energy makes it difficult for him to focus on the game. Like many young people, he reportedly had a fondness for fizzy drinks and chicken and chips that compromised his physical fitness.
Aaron’s wayward direction changed when father Ambroise intervened, negotiating a three-month probationary period for his son with school officials. Ambroise also gave his youngest son a motivational talk about the importance of sticking with a goal, even when the going gets tough.
Thus chastened, Aaron devoted all his energies to excelling at football. He went on to earn a distinguished record at Crystal Palace, signing a professional contract with the team in December 2016. He was named CP’s player of the year on 30 April of this year.
Earning the Nickname “Spider”
Aaron is especially known for his defensive skills. He manages the ball with an ease that baffles opposing players and delights his teammates. He credits his time spent as a winger with helping him to anticipate and foil attempted tackles.
Speaking of tackles, Aaron is England’s only player to have more than 40 to his credit, along with 57 interceptions and 40 completed take-ons. His nickname “Spider” refers to his stilt-like legs, which enable him to switch from offence to defence and back again in the flash of an eye.
Crystal Palace Coach Roy Hodgson is enthusiastic about the young full-back’s abilities. In an interview from last season, Hodgson famously said that he was “relieved” when he saw Aaron make an error during the 94th minute of a game against Fulham.
“Until then I was starting to think he might be a robot,” Hodgson joked. This immediately led to joshing about Aaron being “Roy’s robot,” which Wan-Bissaka takes in good stride.
Honing Young Talent into Seasoned Skill
Aaron’s transfer to Manchester United comes as welcome news to MU fans, who recognize him as a valuable addition to the team’s already remarkable lineup. He fits team manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s strategy of choosing young players with plenty of raw talent. It was this same philosophy that inspired Solskjær’s decision to bring the wily Daniel James onboard as well. Bookmakers like Fox Bet will have plenty to hold their interest as the season unfolds.
Staying Humble in the Midst of Smashing Success
The prospect of taking home a £45 million purse might make most young men feel a bit full of themselves. But Aaron looks upon the opportunity with characteristic gratitude.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling and an honour to call myself a Manchester United player,” he remarked in a recent interview. “I can’t wait to get going and integrated into the squad.” There’s no doubt that Manchester United fans feel the same way. Here’s to a great season going forward.