Wan-Bissaka surprised by his own record at Man Utd as he bucks tough-tackling trend

Aaron Wan-Bissaka Kalvin Phillips Manchester United Leeds 2020-21
The Red Devils right-back is not afraid to throw himself into challenges, and has more blocks that anyone else, but he is yet to be booked in 2020-21

Aaron Wan-Bissaka has aired his surprise at the notable achievements he is posting at Manchester United, with a right-back yet to collect a yellow card this season and bucking the trend when it comes to tough-tackling defenders.

The 23-year-old full-back is not afraid to throw himself into a challenge and has made more blocks (50) in the 2020-21 campaign than any other player in the Premier League.

Wan-Bissaka often finds himself coming up against some of the finest creative talent that the English top-flight has to offer, with tricky wingers occupying his area of the field.

Containing that threat and remaining on the good side of referees is never easy, but a £50 million ($63m) asset at Old Trafford is showing that success can be achieved while adhering to the rules.

Speaking to United Review about his spotless disciplinary record, Wan-Bissaka said: “That’s the first time I’ve heard it. But it’s very good to hear, that I have had no bookings against me this season.

“I know you cannot just dive into any tackle. You’ve got to make sure you time it right. It is a case of always concentrating and making sure you are timing them right as well.”

He added on being the Premier League’s top blocker, with Southampton’s Kyle Walker-Peters second on that list some seven efforts off the pace: “I reckon it’s probably down to there being situations where I’ve needed to tackle but, in that moment, there have been more situations I have had when I have had to block shots and crosses.

“I know there have been times in football where, if you don’t block a shot, it can go in. So the best thing to do is simply to attempt to block every shot and every cross.” 

Wan-Bissaka’s ability to extinguish the threat posed by opponents will be tested again on Friday when United take in a home date with Aston Villa – with Jack Grealish cementing his reputation as one of the finest playmakers in the business.

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“I know he is always up there with getting the most fouls. We all know he’s a tricky player when he's out there on the pitch,” said Wan-Bissaka.

“He is a great player. He’s unpredictable and can go inside or outside with the ball. I played against him last season and just have to be ready to take it as it comes.

“It is another challenge I am more than ready to take on. But he’s not the only player we need to be paying attention to – they have lots of other good players like John McGinn, Ross Barkley, Trezeguet and others. We know it will be a tough game.”