October 5, 2019

Gareth Southgate explains Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s England call-up

By Marc

England head coach Gareth Southgate has said that Aaron Wan-Bissaka was closely monitored by his coaching staff last season and believe the right-back deserves to make the jump to the senior national team. Wan-Bissaka made the big-money move to Manchester United from Crystal Palace over the summer and he has since accumulated the second-most number of tackles in the new league campaign.

Speaking in a press conference, Southgate said that the Three Lions are gifted with multiple options on the right side of the backline and Wan-Bissaka has been offered the chance to compete with Trent Alexander-Arnold and Kieran Trippier, he told: “We tracked him [Wan-Bissaka] very closely last year and thought he had an outstanding season. But we wanted him to stay with the U21 group, he has adapted well and quickly to a high-profile move. We are looking at him and Trent, that is reason Kyle Walker is not with us.”

In the current squad, there have been a number of experienced faces left out and among those, the exclusions of Kyle Walker and John Stones remain a surprise. While Walker’s has been contributed by the emergence of Wan-Bissaka and Alexander-Arnold over the past year, Stones seems to have been left out due to the reduced fitness after returning from a thigh problem.

England have winnable games against Bulgaria and Kosovo in the Euro 2020 qualifiers during the international break and it remains to be seen whether Southgate prefers any surprise starters for the matches. Aside from Wan-Bissaka, Mason Mount is another player, who could make his Three Lions debut during the forthcoming internationals.

Mount, who is currently in the ranks of Chelsea, has made a strong start to the season with two goals from three league matches. Southgate, however, has stressed that the youngster’s selection has resulted from the progress made over the years and not based on the form during the ongoing Premier League season.