Having witnessed Aaron Wan-Bissaka only a handful of times previously, I could not have commented much before he won Palace’s Player of the Month back in March.
Joining the Palace academy at the age of eleven, he was a natural wide man playing down the left and right flanks. Aaron was handed his first professional contract in December 2016 and converted to a wing-back by Richard Shaw towards the end of that season with the under 23 side. He trained regularly with the first team following his seemless transition to the wing-back slot.
Having played thirty minutes as a substitute against Liverpool under Frank de Boer in pre-season and not looking out of place, Aaron was named on the bench a few times following. He was being offered to clubs on loan during the January window before Roy Hodgson put a stop to it as he saw his talent.
With eight Premier League games under his belt, in each one of them he has grown in confidence along with the help of the coaching staff and Andros Townsend. Starting your top flight career up against the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Chelsea is well and truly in at the deep end, but the number twenty-nine came out of it as if he had been playing in the division for a few seasons.
The statistics (courtesy of SidelineScouted) are there for all to see from his eight Premier League appearances to date;
- 40 clearances
- 33 tackles won
- 19 interceptions
- 15 take-ons completed
- 4 chances created
- 1 assist
I like to think of our latest academy graduate as an old school defender – loves a tackle, particularly a sliding one, has the pace to recover if need be and to also beat a man as shown recently against Fulham.
Another one of our own is going to be quite something for years to come.