Manchester United’s newest addition, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, came out of nowhere to emerge as one of the stars of the future according to one of his former coaches.
Scott Guyett, Head of Sports Science and Strength and Conditioning at Crystal Palace, was delighted to see the opportunity to join United come Wan-Bissaka’s way despite his disappointment at the defender's departure from Selhurst Park.
The 21-year-old signed for £50 million ($63m) as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer moved to inject some dynamism and quality into his back line, but Guyett admits it isn’t a move he initially saw coming.
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"I didn’t work directly with Aaron until he came to train with the first team a couple of seasons ago and if you’d told me five years ago that this guy would move to Manchester United for £50m at the age of 21, I’d have laughed,” he said.
"But Aaron did so well as soon as he came into the first team and took everything in his stride.
“He’s an incredible athlete - that was apparent as soon as he came to train with the first team - and was the only player I’d seen who could consistently beat Wilfried Zaha in a one-on-one.
"He’s quick, I wouldn’t say lightning, but is also very powerful, agile and has exceptional timing.”
The emergence of the Croydon-born England under-21 international was one of the high points of a mixed season for Palace, as Roy Hodgson’s side battled to a 12th-place finish.
Having made seven appearances in all competitions the previous year, he missed just three Premier League games and registered four assists as Palace registered the second-best defensive record in the bottom half of the table.
Guyett continued: "Some of the things he’d do in training - which people don’t see - you’d be shaking your head and saying ‘how did he just make that tackle?’
“It couldn’t have happened to a nicer kid, because Aaron is a really genuine and dedicated lad. What an opportunity for him."
Wan-Bissaka has linked up with his teammates for the first time, joining them for United’s pre-season tour of Australia, Singapore and China.
Notably, midfielder Paul Pogba has also travelled despite growing doubts around his future at the club. Real Madrid and former club Juventus have been heavily linked with a big-money move for the Frenchman.