How manager Erik ten Hag has instilled new ‘confidence’ in forgotten Manchester United star

Having been made available for transfer this summer, the 50million right-back played only four minutes across the competitions before Diogo Dalot and his other United teammates jetted off to Qatar for their World Cup adventure, but Wan-Bissaka is now the one flying high.

Starting three consecutive matches while Dalot has been nursing a post-World Cup hamstring injury, those outings have coincided with three clean sheets on the bounce for United – while he also provided an eye-catching assist for Christian Eriksen against Carabao Cup fourth round opponents Burnley.

But what has been the key to that upturn? Erik ten Hag.

Among others, United forward Marcus Rashford has been rejuvenated by Ten Hag since he was sworn in from Ajax this summer, while Antony waxed lyrical about the Dutchman and his capacity to improve players before following him from Amsterdam to Old Trafford. It&aposs all too much to be a coincidence.

A humble Ten Hag puts the improvement in Wan-Bissaka down to one thing – availability – but the defender signed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to replace Dalot in 2019 must be due some credit, too, for not only his attitude to being left out of the side, but also his application in forcing his way back in.

Speaking about Wan-Bissaka this month, Ten Hag said: “In the first half of the season he was either injured, or ill, so he didn&apost have a role in the squad. I think the [World Cup] break was good for him.

“He returned and he was in the training camp in Spain and could play some games in preparation of the restart and he&aposs playing games and he&aposs doing really well so I&aposm happy with his performance. We need competition in the squad.

“He has to play games in the team, then he can develop, then he can grow. It&aposs clear he has a future.

“From the restart on, he&aposs fit and he could train with the team and you see him progressing, his fitness levels getting better, his performance levels getting better and I&aposm really happy with his performance.”

Rashford has, meanwhile, pinpointed what Ten Hag and his staff have done for Wan-Bissaka and his confidence. He said: “Massively important player. We all know about his defensive qualities and, for me, he just needs confidence to be pushed to go forward because, when he does, he can create goalscoring opportunities.

“He had no right to get that ball [against Burnley]. But he got there anyway.”

Wan-Bissaka might not be “there” yet when it comes to displacing Dalot as first-choice, but in emerging back onto the radar he could well have forced Ten Hag into a transfer rethink. With funds needed to be invested elsewhere, it comes as a welcome boost to the United squad and underlines the unparalleled value of first-rate coaching.