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Monday, February 26, 2024

Man Utd made a mistake with £50m “machine” who’s now worth £17m

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Erik ten Hag is not convinced by the 26-year-old. A lack of consistency has cost Manchester United massively this season, with the FA Cup the only piece of silverware that can realistically be won. One of the main reasons for this is that Erik ten Hag hasn’t been able to field the same starting XI frequently, with underperformance and injuries often causing rotation. This has particularly been the case for the backline, with a handful of players failing to nail down a position, including an individual whose value has dropped since his arrival. Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s start to life at Man United Aaron Wan-Bissaka was supposed to be the heir to Antonio Valencia when the United captain left in 2019, as he was brought in that summer off the back of an impressive campaign for Crystal Palace, playing a key role in a defence that kept 12 clean sheets in the 2018/19 season. The young right-back joined the Red Devils for a fee of £50m, which is still the Eagles’ biggest sale to this day, with the next highest figure being £25m. At that point, Wan-Bissaka was one of the most promising defenders in England, with ex-United player Paul Parker even claiming that he was the best right back in the Premier League and better than Trent Alexander-Arnold. He got off to a flyer in his first campaign at Old Trafford, as the former Eagles gem was nominated for the MUFC August Player of the Month award. Throughout the season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer started the “machine,” as per commentator Jim Beglin, in 34 matches, where he kept 11 clean sheets and picked up four assists. Wan-Bissaka’s value in 2024 Fast forward to this season, and Wan-Bissaka has struggled to cement himself as Ten Hag’s go-to right-back, starting just ten games in the Premier League. Diogo Dalot is the preferred option on that flank, with his continuous availability and the fact that he “offers more in attack” – as per journalist Francis Abban – giving him the advantage over the 26-year-old, who has missed ten games this season with a hamstring injury. Nonetheless, his lack of game time and lack of youth on his side have seen his value drop over the years. Wan-Bissaka’s Value Over Time Date Market Value December 2019 £34m October 2020 £34m December 2021 £32m November 2022 £15m December 2023 £17m Via Transfermarkt Wan-Bissaka’s value peaked as he joined United, and he maintained that number until halfway through 2021. However, his estimated worth began to drop during United’s terrible 2021/22 season, which saw Solskjaer leave, Ralf Rangnick join, and the club finish sixth in the league. The 6 foot gem’s estimated value then decreased to its lowest point at the beginning of the Ten Hag era, with the English ace’s first start under the new boss coming against Burnley in December. Luckily, he has started to feature more frequently, which has seen it rise back up slightly to £17m – as per CIES Football Observatory – but United still arguably overpaid for the defender originally in 2019. If United decide to move the defender on at the end of the season, they would be looking at a rather large loss, and therefore, Wan-Bissaka’s move to Manchester has been far from a success.

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