Roy Hodgson ‘amazed’ at Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s progress at Crystal Palace

The 20-year-old, of Congolese descent, only made his first-team debut last month and has earned high praises from the English tactician
Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s bright start to life in Crystal Palace first team has left manager Roy Hodgson ‘amazed’.

Wan-Bissaka, 20, was opportune to earn his first senior cap with the Eagles’ in an English Premier League encounter against Tottenham Hotspur on February 25, after the Selhurst Park outfit were hit with injuries in their defensive department.

And the right-back has continued in the role as he featured in consequent games against Manchester United, Chelsea and Huddersfield Town - where he helped the Selhurst Park outfit secure their first win in eight games.

And Hodgson has admitted that he is surprised at how the youngster - who only started training with the senior side ‘about two months ago’ - has handled the transition to top-flight football.

“To come in like he did against Tottenham and then Manchester United and Chelsea and now Huddersfield, that’s four really, really tough games,” Hodgson said.

“I’m amazed really at how well he’s handled it because for long periods he was down with the Under-23s and just made sporadic appearances with the first-team squad. It was about two months ago now where I said ‘I’d like you training with us more regularly’.

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“We’ve had Joel Ward now injured for three or four months – he at the start of the season was the right-back – and then of course Timothy Fosu-Mensah who couldn’t play against Manchester United anyway [due to loan deal terms] so it’s these type of things that made me lift Aaron up a bit earlier than I would otherwise normally have done, but I’m glad I have done because he’s handled it.”

Bissaka PS

Although Wan-Bissaka has featured once for DR Congo U15 side in 2015, he has been invited to the England U20 squad. But the London-born youngster is still eligible to feature for either country at international level.