Aaron Wan-Bissaka will have two very personal motivations for the new season.
Although England have a wealth of talent at right-back, Gareth Southgate’s snub of Wan-Bissaka for this summer’s European Championship would have hurt the 23-year-old, but it’s now down to him to channel that frustration into positivity.
Wan-Bissaka can use that disappointment as fuel to prove the sceptics wrong, but while he was at home and his teammates Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw and Marcus Rashford were playing for England, Manchester United were making enquires in the transfer market.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would like to find competition for Wan-Bissaka and the United boss has identified Kieran Trippier as the perfect candidate for such a move – the MEN revealed this week that Trippier is optimistic about swapping Atletico Madrid for United.
While those negotiations continue and regardless of if that particular transfer actually comes to fruition, it’s fair to speculate that the news that Solskjaer wants another right-back at Old Trafford could be unsettling for the ever consistent and reliable Wan-Bissska.
Sir Alex Ferguson was the master at providing competition for places and that sometimes ruthless transfer ploy yielded unrivalled and unprecedented results – the legendary United boss even famously called complacency among players a ‘disease’ in 2016.
It seems Solskjaer is using that ploy to inspire his hunt for a new right-back, but just like Southgate’s snub, that should serve as motivation for Wan-Bissaka to deliver improved performances this season, which is likely the Norwegian’s hidden intention.
However, there’s crucially one aspect of Wan-Bissaka’s game that could be worked on that could change the United boss’ mind that another right-back is needed as pundits and fans alike have often made the same assessment when analysing his displays.
Wan-Bissaka has the opportunity to relentlessly work this term to put that right and he can use both of those motivations to help.
Sir Alex Ferguson was an expert on knowing how to get the best out of his players and it seems Solskjaer might have learned a thing or two from playing under the greatest manager of all time, but Wan-Bissaka’s performances this season will ultimately judge that.