DR Congo Are Desperate To Take Wan-Bissaka From Under England’s Noses

0 Posted by - March 18, 2019 - News

With an international break now upon us, Crystal Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka is being forced to settle for a place in England’s U21 set-up; a blow which has put DR Congo on red alert. 

After representing the African nation at youth level previously, the full-back has exploded onto the big stage with Crystal Palace, making his Premier League debut little over a year ago and refusing to look back. His performances have led to rave reviews across the country and with stats marking him out as the outstanding tackler across Europe’s top five divisions, it was a real shock to see Gareth Southgate fail to bring him in to the England senior set-up ahead of this round of fixtures. 

The official reasoning for the decision referenced the continuity Wan-Bissaka will get with the U21 side but in reality, it looks as though Gareth’s loyalty to both Kyle Walker and Kieran Trippier following World Cup 2018 is the real season for the youngster’s exclusion from the senior side. With Trent Alexander-Arnold now a nailed on member of the group thanks to his ability to cross a ball and the club who pay his wages, Southgate was clearly not comfortable with the idea of calling up four right-backs or dropping one of the aforementioned pair to accommodate Aaron. 

Whilst I’m sure he will get his chance in the not too distant future, it’s not hard to begin drawing parallels with Wilfried Zaha, who experienced the same sort of baffling treatment when Roy Hodgson was the man in charge of selection the Three Lions’ squad. It looks unlikely that Aaron will follow Zaha’s path in choosing DR Congo over England but if he continues to be ignored by the coaching staff, he may be left with no option. 

Were he and Alexander-Arnold to be playing for each other’s clubs, I dare say that Southgate’s decision would have been different. Is that fair? Of course not but it’s the way football has always worked. It’s just a shame that Southgate, as an ex-Palace player himself, isn’t able to look beyond the club’s stature to identify a truly incredible talent in the shape of Wan-Bissaka. 

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3 Comments

  • tzcar March 18, 2019 - 8:07 am Reply

    wb only has to be patient his time is iminent.he only has to look at wilf,s rash decision,that robbed him and us of i belive a dam good england career.

  • Jose Fonte, baby? Jose Fonte, oh, oh, oh March 18, 2019 - 9:42 am Reply

    Southgate seems keen for age groups to progress together and work their way up through the age groups. With there being an u21 tournament this summer it is likely Southgate would rather AWB help the u21s win the tournament (only youth tournament we haven’t won recently).

    With regards to Rice getting a call up, there is less quality competition at defensive midfield and Rice has not played for the u20s/u21s so no need for him to grow with the rest of his age group. Trippier and Walker do not have long left as top quality full backs – very few international full backs are over 30 – from there it will be AWB and TAA battling it out and people saying Max Aarons and Jayden Bogle should be near the squad. An area we have a lot of talent.

    • Gordon March 18, 2019 - 11:18 am Reply

      I like the idea of age groups progressing together, Jose, and I hope this is Southgate’s approach. It does mean that some of the next in line such as AWB should, as tzcar suggests, be advised to be patient and I’d like to think that Southgate will be privately whispering this in their ears so they’re not tempted to make rash decisions.

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