Comparing Man United’s current star and promising 21-year-old target – Stats show that it’s time for a change

Manchester United opinion: Comparing Young and Wan-Bissaka – an analysis

If the recent loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers proved anything, it’s that Manchester United need a reliable defender. Chris Smalling is far from perfect and as witnessed against Wolves, Ashley Young can be a liability.

The 33-year-old has struggled of late defensively, making the right-back position one of Ole Gunnar Solskajaer’s biggest conundrums.

While he does have Diogo Dalot at his disposal, the Portuguese youngster has played more games as a right-winger over the last few weeks, with injuries affecting the team. However, to make matters worse, Solskjaer has opted to play Young as a right-sided centre-back.

The 33-year-old is at crossroads in his career. As this season has showcased, the veteran has lost a lot of speed and agility, traits that made him such a threat going forward.

His conversion into a right-back from a left-winger for Manchester United hasn’t been seamless but Young has made up for it with his offensive contributions.

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Time has come to replace him and the Mirror has reported that Manchester United have been linked with a move for Aaron Wan-Bissaka. But can the Crystal Palace right-back successfully replace Ashley Young?

Ashley Young vs Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Defensive stats)

Given the fact that Crystal Palace are a very defensive team, as a result, Aaron Wan-Bissaka outdoes Young in every area defensively. So far, the 21-year-old has averaged 3.9 tackles, 2.2 interceptions, 3.3 clearances and 0.3 dribbles, which for a player of his age and ability is frightening.

While he did make his debut last season, Wan-Bissaka has hit his stride this campaign with 28 appearances to his name. And it shows, with the young full-back dominating the opposition at times, playing a big part in the fact that Palace has done so well defensively.

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Ashley Young, on the other hand, has struggled for the Red Devils this season. So far, the Manchester United man has made 25 appearances, averaging 1.6 tackles, 19 interceptions and 2.2 clearances, getting dribbled past at an average of 0.6.

As a former winger, Young tends to burst forward more often than not, getting caught out defensively. Earlier, his speed and agility helped him make up the ground but at the age of 33, things have changed.

The Englishman still depends heavily on his speed, which has deserted him in recent years and played a part in his downfall.

Ashley Young vs Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Attacking stats)

Ashley Young dominates this area, with two things coming into play. The first one is that the Englishman is a former winger, and the second is the fact that Crystal Palace struggle offensively. As witnessed, the statistics prove that.

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Young has created 2 assists in the Premier League, with an average of 1.3 key passes and 0.5 dribbles per game. Wan-Bissaka, on the other hand, has also managed 2 assists but only 0.4 key passes and 1.7 dribbles per game.

Like a modern full-back, the 21-year-old loves moving forward but has struggled to produce the end product. That’s one area that he needs to improve and maybe in a more attacking setup, those statistics should shoot up in the near future.

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The fact that Aaron Wan-Bissaka is just 21 years old shows just how much the young full-back can improve in the near future. On the other hand, Ashley Young’s best days are behind him.