Aaron Wan-Bissaka seals meteoric rise with £45m Manchester United move
England under-21 full back impressed in his first full season as a pro at Crystal Palace
Aaron Wan-Bissaka has signed a five-year contract with Manchester United. Photograph: Paul Harding/PA Wire
Manchester United have completed the signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace in a deal that could potentially be worth £50 million. The England Under-21 international, who made his first-team debut for Palace less than 18 months ago, has signed a five-year contract with United worth £80,000 a week.
United have agreed to pay £45 million for Wan-Bissaka and another £5 million in add-ons, making him the club’s fifth most expensive signing. There is also an option to extend his contract by a further year.
“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,” Wan-Bissaka said.
“As a kid, every kid wants to play for a team like this. I’m grateful and it’s an honour to represent this club. I think I will improve every step and learn different things around new team-mates. I think Manchester United is a big club, big family, big fanbase and they all stick together. I can see that I have made [my family] proud with this decision and where I’ve come from. I personally think they know what’s right for me.”
Wan-Bissaka is United’s second signing of the summer, following the £15 million addition of Daniel James from Swansea, and fits the profile of player – talented, young and hungry – the club are seeking to attract.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær described the 21-year-old right back as “one of the best upcoming defenders in the Premier League” and believes he has all the attributes to succeed at Old Trafford.
“He has the right work ethic, talent and mentality to play for Manchester United and he fits exactly the type of player that we are looking to bring into the squad to help us improve and push on further,” Solskjær said.
“Aaron is a young, hungry player and eager to learn and that’s important at his age. I am delighted he has signed with us and we look forward to continuing his tremendous development so far.”
Wan-Bissaka’s move to Old Trafford completes a meteoric rise. Last season was his first full campaign at senior level as a professional footballer and he has made only 46 first-team appearances. His performances for Palace soon caught the eye, however, and he finished last season as their player of the year and with some hugely impressive statistics to his name, including making more tackles than any other defender in Europe’s elite leagues.
Solskjær is targeting further defensive additions, with a central defender seen as a priority. Harry Maguire is at the top of their list – Manchester City are also competing for the England international – but any transfer seems a way off because of Leicester’s valuation, which is around £80 million and based on the fee that Southampton received for Virgil van Dijk. That sort of asking price is likely to put Maguire out of United’s reach until they generate funds by moving players on. – Guardian