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How does Aaron Wan-Bissaka compare to Trent Alexander-Arnold?

Sports Mole takes a statistical look at the comparison between Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is widely regarded as the best right-back in the Premier League after another impressive campaign for runaway leaders Liverpool.

In Aaron Wan-Bissaka, though, Manchester United feel they have a player capable of rivalling Alexander-Arnold for that honour in the years to come.

As well as competing for trophies at club level, the pair are also battling it out for a starting spot at international level with England.

If there is still room for improvement for Wan-Bissaka in terms of the attacking aspect of his game, the same is true of Alexander-Arnold in a defensive sense.

Here, Sports Mole looks at how the duo compare using stats from the 2019-20 Premier League season to date.


Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold on November 5, 2019© Reuters

Firstly, it is worth noting that Alexander-Arnold has made three more appearances than Wan-Bissaka in the English top flight this term.

Given he plays for the side boasting the best defensive record in the division, it is not surprising to learn that the Liverpool defender boasts more clean sheets - 10 compared to seven.

In terms of goals conceded, United have let in 28 this season with Wan-Bissaka on the field, while Liverpool have shipped 21 when their own English full-back has been present.


Manchester United defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Many will argue that the job of a defender first and foremost is to keep out the opposition. In Wan-Bissaka, United have one of the finest tacklers anywhere on the continent - especially in one-on-one scenarios.

His 99 tackles won is the second best return in the Premier League, bettered only by Leicester City's Ricardo Pereira.

Alexander-Arnold is way down in 47th on that list, with his 45 tackles putting him on par with the likes of Cedric Soares and Ruben Neves.

Wan-Bissaka also ranks highly for interceptions and aerial battles won, though he comes out second best to Alexander-Arnold in terms of general clearances.


Trent Alexander-Arnold in action during the Premier League game between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool on January 11, 2020© Reuters

The role of the modern full-back is constantly evolving, and many will argue that attacking is now just as important as defending.

That is where Alexander-Arnold comes into his own, scoring twice in the Premier League this season from 36 shots, eight of those on target.

Both of those goals were scored with his right foot, one from inside the box and the other from outside.

Wan-Bissaka gets into shooting positions far less often, managing only one shot on target from his five overall attempts, failing to find the back of the net from any of those.

Goals are a nice bonus, but assists are the bread and butter for Alexander-Arnold.

Twelve times he has set up a teammates to score this term - second in the division to Manchester City's Kevin De Bruyne - while Wan-Bissaka lags well behind on two assists.


Aaron Wan-Bissaka pictured in August 2019© Reuters

Alexander-Arnold also performs better than Wan-Bissaka in terms of passing - especially when it comes to forward passes - and touches of the ball.

Where Wan-Bissaka particularly falls short is in terms of crossing, sending in wide deliveries on 75 occasions in 2019-20. To give that some context, Alexander-Arnold has swung in 313 crosses.

Neither player has yet been red-carded this season, while Wan-Bissaka's five yellow cards is one more than Alexander-Arnold has been shown.

Ultimately, though, this comes down to whether you want your full-back to keep out opponents or create chances.

Combine the two aspects, and it is Alexander-Arnold who leads the way.

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rhs 2.0
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester29165858283053
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
19Aston Villa2874173456-2225
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721

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