Aaron Wan-Bissaka was a name no neutral and relatively few Palace fans knew of until roughly two weeks ago but in the period since, the Premier League hype machine has gone into overdrive about the 20-year-old.
Thrown into the Palace starting XI by Roy Hodgson against Tottenham Hotspur given a shortage of defensive options, Aaron passed every test on what was his Premier League debut with flying colours, leaving the gaffer with no reservations about putting him into the team for the second game in a row for the visit of Manchester United.
Incredibly, Wan-Bissaka managed to improve upon his performance from the previous week against Jose Mourinho’s Reds, keeping Alexis Sanchez wedged firmly in his pocket throughout the encounter. It was a wonderful showing from a player who has proven that he is more than capable of mixing it with the big boys but predictably, some have been unable to resist the urge to cash in on the hype in the worst way possible.
Writing for a website entitled “Football Insider” someone called Danny Wright (there is no way of knowing if he even exists) has penned a piece entitled “Everton must sign PL defender who still has Alexis Sanchez rattling around in his back pocket”. Quite why the writer has chosen the Toffees or decided to use the word “must” is anyone’s guess but to me, the whole thing stinks to high heaven.
Here is a lad who until mid-February was not on the radar of a single Premier League club other than Palace, now being touted for a move to another outfit off the back of two impressive performances. I understand the excitement surrounding his potential but is that really what the game has come to in 2018?
In truth, Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s recent leap into the minds of the general football watching public across the UK represents a perfect example of the rapid-fire, instantaneous, “build them up to knock them down” culture that the Premier League has cultivated over the last 20 years or so. Sure, right now, Aaron’s the talk of the town but should he have an off performance against Chelsea, the same morally bankrupt chancers will jump for joy at the chance to call him a flash in the pan.
Allowing for a moment of measured thought amongst the madness, I doubt I’m alone in believing that Aaron should be allowed to develop at his own pace with the likes of Roy Hodgson, Ray Lewington and his youth coaches guiding him along way for the time being. Yes, he looks to be a player with real scope for growth but as we all know, the path to glory is almost always littered with potholes.
The Premier League is a ruthless environment in which to make a living, it’s our duty as a club to ensure that Wan-Bissaka is given sound advice every step of the way.