Hodgson and Zaha ready for Wan-Bissaka reunion at Old Trafford

by Theguardian

Football

• Manchester United full-back faces former club on Saturday• Palace manager: ‘It’s not an easy task that he’s accomplished’

Roy Hodgson digressed at one point, turning to opera to conjure an analogy that referenced the celebrated tenors Jussi Björling and Enrico Caruso, but the tone of his message remained clear. Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a player of immense potential, a full international in waiting, and is missed at Crystal Palace. Manchester United, who will field the right-back against his former club on Saturday, have prised away a gem from south London.

All the staggering statistics that marked out the best tackling defender in the top flight while Wan-Bissaka was at Palace have been maintained through his early days at Old Trafford. No one summoned more than his 15 tackles from the opening two games, and, in a team who will enjoy more possession, there have been hints that his attacking game is developing at pace. What had first marked out the defender when he was summoned across Copers Cope Road from the academy to make up the numbers had been an ability to choke Wilfried Zaha in one-on-one duels. The revisiting of that training tête-à-tête will provide an intriguing subplot.

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