Manchester United have an ideal makeweight for two Erik ten Hag transfer wildcards – Liam Wood


It was the £50million gamble that nearly paid off for Manchester United – but with the chips firmly down they are preparing to cash-in and cut their losses. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is up for sale as United aim to recoup as much of their 2019 outlay as possible during the upcoming transfer window.

Arriving at Old Trafford three years ago, Wan-Bissaka was long-tipped for England recognition and underlined that prediction during the first 18 months of his stay – constantly trusted by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer despite growing issues regarding his (lack of) attacking output.

There is no doubt about it, Wan-Bissaka remains one of the best one-vs-one defenders in the Premier League and that particular tag was often the basis for supporters putting forward his international credentials. Through no fault of his own, however, the game has changed quite rapidly domestically and when it comes to England selection, too.

READ MORE: Manchester United make decision on Diogo Dalot with Aaron Wan-Bissaka up for sale

More so than in any other area, Gareth Southgate can be found scratching his head when it comes to picking two, or three, right-back options in his England squad. There are strong, genuine cases for Kyle Walker, Reece James and Trent Alexander-Arnold – among countless others including former United target Kieran Trippier.

It was a parked pursuit for the latter which ought to have offered the first red flag for Wan-Bissaka. His days of him as first-choice for United were numbered then and he will not form part of Erik ten Hag’s plans moving forwards.

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Regardless of that stance, though, Wan-Bissaka can depart Old Trafford with his head held high. Question marks on his work from him going forward are fully justified, but one can never question his commitment and desire to battle for what, in recent times, has seemed like a lost cause. Both he and United will ponder their next move.

Diogo Dalot will stay put this summer and, depending on what business he does elsewhere, there may be room in Ten Hag’s budget to bring in competition at right-back. However, there are more prominent areas to strengthen as the inbound Dutchman sets his sights on a centre-back, a defensive midfielder and versatile attacker.

Wan-Bissaka has been deemed surplus to requirements on the field, but in the boardroom he boasts a resale value United can put to full use directly or otherwise. Crystal Palace have been extensively linked with a return swoop for a player who came through their academy system before his high-profile transfer to Old Trafford.

You wouldn’t expect them to go anywhere near the £50million United splashed out for his signature, while a wage packet will also come into account – but Ten Hag might just be able to dangle Wan-Bissaka as bait in an attempt to land one of two wildcard options from Selhurst Park.



Patrick Vieira and highly-rated Crystal Palace defender Marc Guehi.

As part of a revived Palace outfit who have caught the eye under Patrick Vieira this season, former Chelsea centre-back Marc Guehi and Michael Olise have been firmly at the forefront and should only improve further after dipping their toes in the Premier League and on the international stage, too.

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Guehi already seems like a bargain after swapping Stamford Bridge for south London in an £18million switch a year ago. Naturally, his value would have skyrocketed after such an accomplished debut campaign which saw him given the captaincy on occasion and, also, earn a first England cap under Southgate.

Connections with Ajax and the well-observed Premier League tax will tip the balance in Jurrien Timber’s favor and that swoop does appear feasible. However, United should stumble upon complications there, Wan-Bissaka might help them come up with a favourable, alternative package for Guehi.

The same can be said for mercurial talent, Olise, who showed glimpses of his potential throughout the season and none more so than against Manchester City in March. As luck would have it, those two wildcards, as well as current United players, have a first audition in front of the watching Ten Hag at Selhurst Park on Sunday afternoon.

But will they spark the United manager into an early and, quite possibly, big-money gamble?

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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