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Manchester United Sign Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace on 5-Year Contract

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistJune 29, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Aaron Wan-Bissaka of Crystal Palace looks on during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and AFC Bournemouth at Selhurst Park on May 12, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Manchester United finalised the signing of Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka on Saturday.

Confirmation of the transfer's completion and the player's signing came via the club on Twitter:

Manchester United @ManUtd

It's official — @AWBissaka is a Red 🔴 #MUFC

The player told the club's official website how happy he was to join:

"It's an unbelievable feeling and an honour to call myself a Manchester United player and something I know that only a small number of players have the privilege to say.

"I can't wait to get going and integrated into the squad. I will have a short break now after the European Championships but I'm looking forward to starting training with the manager and my new team-mates on the pre-season tour."

B/R Football @brfootball

Aaron Wan-Bissaka becomes @ManUtd’s fourth most-expensive signing of all time 💰 https://t.co/osVCfUGZpq

According to David Ornstein of BBC Sport, the deal to take the 21-year-old to Old Trafford is worth a potential £50 million. It's added Wan-Bissaka will earn £80,000 per week with the Manchester outfit, which is a significant increase on the weekly salary of £10,000 he was picking up at Selhurst Park.

Wan-Bissaka is the second major signing made in what is shaping up to be a critical summer for United, with Daniel James having arrived from Swansea City earlier in June.

The England youth international broke into the Palace team at the end of the 2017-18 campaign, cementing his place in the Eagles starting XI with some solid performances. In 2018-19, he established a reputation as one of the best prospects in the top flight.

Per OptaJoe, he was the most prolific tackler in Europe's major leagues last season:

OptaJoe @OptaJoe

129 - Aaron Wan-Bissaka made more tackles than any other defender in Europe's top five leagues last season (129). Devilish. https://t.co/uStzQ5Y0od

Palace's Twitter account shared the following clip late last term of some of his best defensive moments:

Crystal Palace F.C. @CPFC

⛔️ He's won more tackles than any other @premierleague defender this season, so let's have a look at some of Aaron Wan-Bissaka's best... #CPFC 🦅 https://t.co/MGnlEjuS9t

While those attributes will make a big difference to a Red Devils team that leaked goals throughout the previous season, Wan-Bissaka will need to make improvements to other facets of his play.

There will be a greater onus on him to be creative in the attacking third of the field, and the right-back has a tendency to be wasteful with his final ball. Dominic Fifield of the Guardian detailed that his crossing accuracy was just 21.4 per cent last season.

Bleacher Report's Sam Tighe is unsure whether Wan-Bissaka can thrive as a forward-thinking full-back:

B/R Football @brfootball

On #BRFootballRanks, @stighefootball's take on Aaron Wan-Bissaka's potential Manchester United move ➡️ Apple: https://t.co/IlRHBkcyUm ➡️ Spotify: https://t.co/9jK7aEWLi6 https://t.co/fjqF8R6FBI

Nevertheless, Wan-Bissaka has huge potential and represents an upgrade at right-back for the Red Devils, with Diogo Dalot and Ashley Young jostling for the position last season.

Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News thinks the right flank is in much better shape after the summer acquisitions:

Samuel Luckhurst @samuelluckhurst

Wan-Bissaka will become #mufc's most expensive defender but fee is not as high as it could've been. United finally have two specialist and selectable right-backs and Daniel James can play on the right-hand side. A stagnant area of the squad now looks a lot fresher.

Adjusting to life at United will be a challenge for Wan-Bissaka. As a £45 million player, his game will be under major scrutiny.

However, the signs have been positive early in his career, and if United can enhance the attacking aspects of his game, they will have one of the best full-backs in European football on their books.

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