Manchester United full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka opened up on his love for tackling and reflected on his impressive debut for the club.
Wan-Bissaka was one of United’s three new signings in the summer transfer window along with Harry Maguire and Daniel James.
The 21-year-old was a top priority for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following a breakthrough campaign at Crystal Palace last term. He caught the Norwegian’s eye through his athleticism and aggressiveness, which is a valuable trait in the Premier League.
Most notably, though, was the fact that Wan-Bissaka finished as the only player in the English top-flight to complete over 60 tackles, 60 interceptions and 60 take-ons.
“I love tackles, man,” Wan-Bissaka told the United Review.
“I want to come out with the most tackles from each game; that’s my aim.
”I’m not really happy when I come out of a game without many tackles. At the same time, when I look back at it, it doesn’t mean anything negative, necessarily – it might mean that the winger’s not confident to keep on coming at me, for me to have the chance to tackle him.
“Wingers hate it. When I was a winger, I hated being tackled! When I attempted to beat a player and he slide-tackled me, I’d just think: ‘I don’t want to go down there again,’ and change the route, change my play, you know?”
The England U-21 international, who cost United €55m this summer, has started in both of the club’s opening Premier League games.
Although it was his solid debut outing in the Red Devils’ 4-0 opening day thrashing of Chelsea that got the plaudits coming his way.
“I just like to play my game, play without fear, do what I’m capable of doing,” said Wan-Bissaka.
“Was I nervous before my debut? Nah. Me, I block it out. I know what nerves can do. Nerves keep you quiet.
“I’m just waiting for the game to start. I’m in the changing room, just waiting, thinking: ‘Can this game hurry up and start?’
”The longer it takes, that’s when the nerves could come in, so I just want to get the waiting over and done with. I just want to get into the game, get the ball as much as possible. That stops the nerves.
“Then I like to get the tackles in, because I get a lot of confidence from tackles. The fans help as well, cheering them, so, after that, I want to get into the next one, then the next one. That helps.”