Manchester United star Aaron Wan-Bissaka has singled out Neymar as the toughest winger he’s faced in his career and says the PSG forward trying to draw fouls has made their battles very ‘challenging’.
Wan-Bissaka has established himself as one of League’s best defensive right-backs after bursting onto the scene at Crystal Palace and his outstanding displays earned him a £45m transfer move to Old Trafford in 2019.
Many of the Premier League’s standout attacking players – most notably Raheem Sterling – have struggled against Wan-Bissaka over the last three years and the full-back shone in his toughest test yet as United travelled to PSG earlier this campaign.
Wan-Bissaka was able to keep Neymar quiet for much of the clash and also impressed going forward as Marcus Rashford scored a last-gasp winner in the Champions League group-stage.
However, it was a different story in the reverse fixture, though, as Neymar put a huge dent in United’s hopes of qualifying for the knockout phase with a brace against Wan-Bissaka and co at Old Trafford.
‘I’d say Neymar,’ Wan-Bissaka told UEFA.com when asked to name the toughest winger he has ever faced ahead of United’s Europa League last-16 first-leg game with AC Milan.
‘That was a player that was quite challenging, but I was always up for it, and I enjoyed it, the experience, to be playing against him. That meant a lot.’
On how he dealt with the huge task, Wan-Bissaka said: ‘I think for him, it’s a bit of both, depending on where he is on the pitch.
‘He’s a player that likes to draw fouls, and so for me, if I’m up against him, it’s just not to give him any fouls because that’s what he wants.’
‘Defenders are most likely to be targeted on the pitch, to be taken on,’ he added. ‘That comes down to concentration, awareness, and it’s something you have to be prepared for the whole 90 minutes.
‘For me, I mainly look at what foot they are. That will be the main information that I’ll need, and it’s just about timing, showing them onto their weaker side and then taking it from there.
‘Concentration is key. It’s not always about diving in; it’s to wait for their move rather than me making the first move.
‘For me, [defending] is exciting, especially with the fans, the fans’ reaction. That keeps me going, and it just makes me want to make more tackles.’