Patrick van Aanholt believes Aaron Wan-Bissaka is ‘without a shadow of a doubt’ the best right-back in the Premier League and says the likes of Raheem Sterling and Wilfried Zaha would much rather face Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold. Wan-Bissaka, 22, and Alexander-Arnold, 21, would likely have been competing for a place in Gareth Southgate’s starting XI this summer but their battle for England’s right-back berth has been put on hold, with Euro 2020 postponed by a year due to the coronavirus crisis.
Alexander-Arnold is on course to add a Premier League trophy to the Champions League title he won last season, while Wan-Bissaka is yet to win any silverware at the start of his career with either Crystal Palace or Manchester United.
Van Aanholt insists he has ‘respect’ for Alexander-Arnold but claims his former Palace team-mate is the far superior right-back from a defensive point of view.
When it was put to Van Aanholt that Wan-Bissaka is the Premier League’s best right-back on the Counter Attack podcast, he responded: ‘Bro, without a shadow of a doubt! ‘They are different players. Defensively, Aaron is unbelievable, better than Trent. ‘Yes, Trent has got his attacking and his corners, his right foot. But if you ask Wilf [Zaha] who he would want to play against, every other day, Trent or Wan-Bissaka, I think he will say Trent.
‘I have got respect for Trent, because he does everything with his assists and he is great, but defensively, just ask Sterling how good Wan-Bissaka is. ‘It is a problem, and he will switch. He is one of the best right-backs, I think he could be, his attacking is good, but he needs more goals or assists to his name. ‘Defending comes first, but in the modern game, you need to attack, and at United, you get more of the ball, so go forward and show what you have got, but he has been doing good.’
Earlier this week, Gary Neville likened Alexander-Arnold to Brazilian great Cafu and said the youngster’s all-round game makes him a better player than Wan-Bissaka as it stands. ‘At this moment in time Aaron Wan-Bissaka is the better defender,’ the ex-United and England right-back said during an Instagram Q&A session. ‘But Trent going forward… I’ve not seen someone like it since Cafu. ‘So Trent is ahead at this point but Wan-Bissaka has settled really well and will be important in these next few years.