Crystal Palace coach explains how a failed loan helped Aaron Wan-Bissaka become a £45m Man United signing


Aaron Wan-Bissaka has enjoyed a solid start to his Manchester United career after leaving Crystal Palace (Picture: Getty)

Crystal Palace academy coach Shaun Derry believes that Aaron Wan-Bissaka benefited from spending four days with Cambridge United as it opened his eyes to professional football in the lower leagues.

Wan-Bissaka enjoyed a miraculous rise to prominence after making his Crystal Palace debut against Spurs in February 2018, cementing himself as a first-team regular at Selhurst Park before joining Manchester United in a £45m deal in June.

The 21-year-old’s incredible journey to the top could have continued this week after he was called into Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the first time, only to be forced to withdraw due to a back complaint.

Prior to his emergence at Palace, Wan-Bissaka almost made a loan move to League Two club Cambridge United and Derry, who managed the club at the time, believes that drove the defender on to prove himself in the Premier League.

Shaun Derry revealed that Wan-Bissaka spent dour days training with Cambridge United (Picture: Getty)

‘Aaron came to Cambridge, the [transfer] window was shut so we couldn’t sign anyone but we spoke about him coming out of this environment [Crystal Palace] and into a League Two environment,’ Derry said.

‘We took him to Cambridge, he was a right-winger at this time, we were looking for one and he spent four days with us. He was late!

‘We had no food after training because we just didn’t have any food at the training ground, we had no gym – one spin bike with a peddle hanging off was all we had – the grass was horrendous.

‘I remember thinking that the only value he will get from the four days’ experience is what it will look like where he doesn’t [want to be]: ‘I don’t want to go back there!’

‘He came back and went straight through the roof. That added value, going to see different experiences.’

Wan-Bissaka was one of the revelations of the 2018-19 Premier League season, winning more tackles (129) than any other player in the division and landing Crystal Palace’s Player of the Year award off the back of his performances.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer identified him as a key part of his Manchester United revolution and Wan-Bissaka has enjoyed a solid start to his Old Trafford career, again topping the charts for tackles won in the league with 26 in four matches.





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