Manchester United full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka has illustrated his love of defending and said his aim is to finish each game with more tackles than any other player.
Wan-Bissaka recently spoke to United Review and highlighted why he relishes some aspects of the less glamorous work:
"I love tackles, man. I want to come out with the most tackles from each game; that's my aim.
"I'm not really happy when I come out of a game without many tackles. At the same time, when I look back at it, it doesn't mean anything negative, necessarily – it might mean that the winger's not confident to keep on coming at me, for me to have the chance to tackle him.
"Wingers hate it. When I was a winger, I hated being tackled! When I attempted to beat a player and he slide-tackled me, I'd just think: 'I don't want to go down there again,' and change the route, change my play, you know?"
The 21-year-old played one full season of senior football at Crystal Palace before United spent a reported £50 million to sign him this past summer.
Wan-Bissaka doesn't appear fazed by that fee, however, and has impressed manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer early on, as Hayters TV shared:
The youngster has already cemented his place on the right side of United's defence, playing every minute of their league campaign.
Not since club legend Gary Neville have United boasted a natural, effective defender at right-back. Antonio Valencia—who left Old Trafford on a free transfer this summer—previously served in the role but was converted into a defender from a winger.
Diogo Dalot, 20, is still adapting at United and arguably functions best as a winger, while Matteo Darmian and Ashley Young have also featured at right-back in recent seasons.
The Red Devils were disappointed to draw 1-1 in their visit to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday, though Wan-Bissaka's defensive display was a highlight:
He led the statistics against Wolves and completed six of his seven attempted tackles in United's 4-0 win over Chelsea the week prior—at least two more than any other player—per WhoScored.com.
Roy Hodgson, his former manager at Palace, also picked out the player for special praise following his display at Molineux:
The evolution of the modern full-back has increased the need for those at the back to be effective in attack and defence, though that appears to have taken emphasis away from the latter in some regards.
Wan-Bissaka has proved himself to be an old-school recruit in that sense and revels in the defensive duties. Attack is so often the priority at Old Trafford, but it's his tackling exploits that promise to get the fans on their feet this season.