Rio Ferdinand has hailed the performance of Aaron Wan-Bissaka after the Manchester United defender ‘put the shackles’ on Kaoru Mitoma in Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final. United booked their place in June’s FA Cup final after seeing off Brighton in a thrilling penalty shoot-out victory at Wembley. Mitoma has enjoyed a sensational campaign since breaking into the Brighton XI under Roberto De Zerbi, scoring 10 and providing seven assists in 31 appearances this season. The Japan international has given some of the best full-backs in the Premier League difficult afternoons this term but had little joy up against Wan-Bissaka on Sunday evening. The former Crystal Palace starlet made a number of key tackles on Mitoma throughout the game with Ferdinand insisting the performance showed ‘he is good as anyone’ in one-on-one defending.
‘I think Wan-Bissaka for me [was the stand-out player],’ Ferdinand told FIVE. ‘Mitoma has been the find of the season for me, he has given every team they have played against huge problems. And to be fair to Wan-Bissaka, he put the shackles on him. And we all know how good defensively one vs one Wan-Bissaka is and today he proved again he can handle top class players in good form. When it is me against you, he is as good as anyone out there.’
Wan-Bissaka started the season out-of-favour under ten Hag in addition to struggling with injury and illness. Diogo Dalot made the right-back spot his own but after a drop in form following the World Cup, the Londoner has been a regular in the starting XI with Dalot shifted over to left-back on Sunday. Wan-Bissaka’s current deal expires in the summer of 2024 with an option to extend that by a further year, with the right-back eager to extend his stay.
‘It has been my intention to stay but during that period (out of the team) my aim was just to play, everyone loves playing and it makes me happy,’ Wan-Bissaka told the Daily Telegraph. ‘During that time I would do anything to play again. I am happy here, I have been happy since I’ve joined and that is what I worked for and what I continue to work for.’
Rio Ferdinand praised Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s performance in Manchester United’s FA Cup semi-final win over Brighton at Wembley on Sunday, where the defender ‘put the shackles’ on Kaoru Mitoma. Mitoma has been in sensational form this season, scoring 10 goals and providing seven assists in 31 appearances, but had little joy against Wan-Bissaka. Ferdinand said that Wan-Bissaka proved he is ‘as good as anyone’ when it comes to one-on-one defending.
Wan-Bissaka started the season out of favour under ten Hag due to injury and illness but has since become a regular starter, with his current deal expiring in 2024 with an option to extend by a further year. The right-back expressed his intention to stay at Manchester United, saying he would do anything to play again after being out of the team.