Having just been called up to the England Under-21s yet again, Wan-Bissaka will be hoping that he can carry on his remarkable form for Crystal Palace.
The youngster has won the Player of the Month award two times in a row for Palace this season and it’s easy to see why.
The 20-year-old has played eight times this season, including six times in the Premier League and twice in the Carabao Cup. He has played 13 games in the Premier League since his emergence from the youth academy and has established himself as a regular starter in that right-back position.
However, his defensive expertise and capabilities are even more remarkable, considering that he spent the majority of his youth career plying his trade as a winger. He was converted into a right-back in the latter stages of his development and has concocted a potent mix of defensive brilliance and attacking flair. The eagles have a scintillating player on their hands and the potential that the youngster has has placed him in a favourable position to become a Palace great.
The Palace defender will be involved in Aidy Boothroyd’s squad for the qualifiers against Andorra and Scotland for the 2019 UEFA U21 Championships in Italy.
England only need one more point to book their place in the competition next summer. Wan-Bissaka will hope that he can help the Three Lions achieve this goal.
Wan-Bissaka is quickly becoming everyone’s favourite player and you can see why the footballing sphere just can’t stop talking about the youngster.
Unlike most players in the U21 side, Wan-Bissaka began the season as a starter and the locally grown talent continues to flourish with his strong performances.
Wan-Bissaka has certainly carried out the form from last season which has seen him keep one of the fan-favourites Joel Ward out of the team in most fixtures. The step-up into the first team may be too premature for Wan-Bissaka, but if he maintains his stellar form for the remainder of the season, then Gareth Southgate will have to consider his options.
Form Last Season
Palace had an injury crisis back in February which saw the 20-year-old thrown into the spotlight to make his competitive debut against Tottenham Hotspur at Selhurst Park.
The fans love to see a youth player come up through the system and break into the first team. It definitely came as a surprise to some as to how well Wan-Bissaka played in his first game.
The youngster looked right at home, slotting into the right-back position perfectly. The games didn’t get any easier with Manchester United and Chelsea next but Wan-Bissaka managed to hold his own with more dazzling displays.
Now in October, it’s still shocking to believe how Wan-Bissaka wasn’t a defender over 18 months ago. After joining Palace at the age of 11, he was brought up as a striker and a winger.
His career took a different path when one day at training he was tasked with marking Wilfried Zaha. It was a good battle between the two and Zaha was so surprised to see someone so young manage him as well as he did.
The Palace U23 assistant to Richard Shaw started to think about converting Wan-Bissaka to a full-back due to his excellent showing against the tricky Ivorian.
Shaw couldn’t quite believe just how disciplined he was and how his understanding of the game was so beyond his years for a player so young.
Shaw has seen him grow in maturity and skill since his U16 days. Shaw commented “I coached him initially at U16 level and then had him again with the U23s and he had a defensive mindset. He also had these long legs and made good recovery runs, so the ability to make the change was there.”
“But when we played him at right-back in the next U23 game against Charlton he was leaving big gaps and watching him try to head the ball defensively was quite funny, in terms of the height and distance he got on it.”
Wan-Bissaka is a player that always wants to improve and the way that he goes about his game quietly is remarkable. You can see that the eagerness to work on his defensive skills has proved us that he needs to be the first-choice right-back for Palace.
What’s next for Wan-Bissaka?
I personally think that if this young man carries on his impressive performances, then he can go very far in his career.
In about 2-3 years time, I can see Wan-Bissaka becoming a regular in the England senior team. He will certainly be considered for the future when players such as Ashley Young will be nearing their international retirement.
There are a lot of Palace fans that just can’t quite believe how good Wan-Bissaka is, especially for his age.
If his performances stay the same, then I can see the Palace fans singing his name to the tune of ‘Rock the Casbah’ all season long.
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