Hit enter after type your search item

Aaron Wan-Bissaka: Have Manchester United finally replaced Gary Neville? Every right-back used since his retirement

/
/
/
44 Views


Manchester United appear to have finally replaced Gary Neville with the £50million signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Neville made 602 appearances for the Red Devils after coming through the ranks at Old Trafford, winning eight Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies.

Gary Neville (left) was a serial winner at Manchester United
Getty

And since retiring from football in 2011, players have tried and failed to fill the void left by the former Red Devils captain.

Wan-Bissaka will be the next right-back to try after leaving Crystal Palace to sign a five-year deal with United last month.

The 21-year-old could make his United debut against Perth Glory in a pre-season friendly on Saturday – and United fans are excited to see him in action.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is excited by Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s arrival
Getty

Below, talkSPORT.com look at other right-backs who have played for the club since Neville hung up his boots.


Rafael

Rafael and his twin brother, Fabio, joined Manchester United from Brazilian club Fluminense in August 2008.

And Sir Alex Ferguson clearly trusted Rafael as he played a crucial role in three Premier League title wins in 2008/09, 2010/11 and 2012/13.

The 29-year-old kept his place in the team under David Moyes, but fell out of favour when Louis van Gaal took over in 2014.

The Dutchman allowed Rafael to move to Lyon for a modest £2.5million fee in August 2015.

Rafael was a regular starter under Sir Alex Ferguson
Getty

Chris Smalling

When Rafael wasn’t starting for the Red Devils in the year following Neville’s retirement, Smalling stepped into the breach.

He’d already spent time their at the beginning for the 2011/12 campaign as they kicked off with five straight wins and the England international starting four of them.

Meanwhile, across the festive period in 2012/13 he started in wins over Newcastle, West Bromwich Albion and Southampton.

Still at United, he’s not been near the role in some time.

Smalling in action during match between Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion
Getty Images

Phil Jones

Just like team-mate Smalling, Jones slipped into the right-back role on occasion.

One of his earliest appearances here was in the early 2011/12 run in the match Smalling missed – a 5-0 win over Bolton.

His natural ball-playing ability made him perfect for the job but he was only used occasionally, especially after the signing of Matteo Darmian.

Jones has stepped in whenever called upon
Getty Images

Matteo Darmian

Darmian was signed a month before Rafael was sold.

Even though Italy failed to make it out of the 2014 World Cup group stages, the full-back’s performances, especially in a 2-1 win over England, caught United’s eye.

A year later, he completed a £12.7million move from Torino and started the 2015/16 campaign as United’s first-choice right-back.

Despite a promising debut season at Old Trafford, Darmian struggled to hold down a regular starting spot under Van Gaal’s successor, Jose Mourinho.

After managing just 10 Premier League starts in the past two seasons with a year left on his contract, Darmian will surely aim to move on this summer.

Matteo Darmian is out of favour at Old Trafford
Getty

Antonio Valencia

Along with winning the FA Cup, another Van Gaal success story was converting Valencia into a right-back.

The Ecuador international had been linked with a move away from the club following the big-money arrivals of Memphis Depay and Angel Di Maria.

But he stayed put and transitioned from a right winger into a right-back during Van Gaal’s two-year spell in charge.

Valencia kept his new position under Mourinho, who dubbed him the world’s ‘the best right-back’ in 2017.

However, injuries and form affected the final years of his United career and he was released last month.

Antonio Valencia was Manchester United’s club captain
Getty

Ashley Young

Similarly to Valencia, Young has played the latter years of his career as a full-back on the right and left side.

Last season, he was exposed countless times which led to a section of Old Trafford fans turning against him.

Supporters even went the extra mile by starting a petition demanding the club to axe Young, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling this summer.

The arrival of Wan-Bissaka is set to restrict Young’s playing time next season.

Ashley Young could be made Manchester United’s new club captain for the upcoming campaign
Getty

Guillermo Varela

David Moyes’ first ever signing, but often forgotten about.

He started three Premier League matches in 2015/16, while also featuring in their Europa League adventures, which were ended by Liverpool.

After loans to Real Madrid Castilla and Eintracht Frankfurt he left for Penarol in Uruguay, his homeland, in 2017.

He’s now back in Europe with Copenhagen.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal shakes hands with Guillermo Varela
Getty Images

Paddy McNair

Used in midfield when he arrived onto the scene in 2014/15, McNair was also used at right-back.

He played there against West Ham United in December 2015 as the Red Devils were held to a 0-0 draw.

The Northern Irish midfielder stepped in at right-back when called upon
Getty Images

Timothy Fosu-Mensah

Fosu-Mensah joined Manchester United from Ajax as a youngster in 2014, before being given his first taste of senior football under Van Gaal.

He made 10 appearances during a breakthrough 2015/16 campaign, but struggled to win the trust of Mourinho the following season.

Fosu-Mensah’s last competitive United appearance came in a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace in May 2017.

Since then, he has had two unsuccessful season-long loan spells at Crystal Palace and Fulham.

Timothy Fosu-Mensah has not played for Manchester United in over two years
Getty

Eric Bailly

Signed from Villarreal for £30million and was Jose Mourinho’s first signing at Old Trafford.

Much like Jones and Smalling before him, Bailly was occasionally slipped into a role at full-back in the 2016/17 season.

Eric Bailly has been used at right-back when needed
Getty Images

Axel Tuanzebe

A 2-0 defeat away at Arsenal in 2017 was the England youth international’s first Premier League start for the Red Devils and it came at right-back.

Usually a centre-back, Tuanzebe also featured at defensive midfield towards the end of the season.

Last year he impressed on loan at Aston Villa and could now make a permanent transfer to the Midlands.

Axel Tuanzebe in one of his Premier League performances for Manchester United
Getty Images

Victor Lindelof

Like several other United centre-backs, the Swede’s ability with the ball at his feet led to him playing at right-back at points.

In December and January of the 2017/18 campaign he played there in a 2-2 draw with Leicester City and a victory over Everton.

Victor Lindelof was a £31million signing from Benfica
Getty Images

Diogo Dalot

Arriving in a £19million deal from Porto last summer, Dalot was described by Mourinho as the ‘best young full-back in Europe’.

It was a claim that seemed bizarre after Dalot was forced to wait until December to make his Premier League debut.

The 20-year-old featured more prominently under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and ended a debut season in England with 23 appearances.

But Solskjaer’s determination to land another young right-back in Wan-Bissaka could be a bad sign for Dalot’s future.

Diogo Dalot had to wait a long time to make his Premier League debut
Getty



Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This div height required for enabling the sticky sidebar