Aaron Wan-Bissaka has revealed the lengths his parents went to keep him on track as a young footballer – to the extent that his father once chased him through a public park after he threatened to skip training.
Wan-Bissaka came through the Crystal Palace academy before bursting onto the Premier League scene, and earned a huge £45 million move to Manchester United last summer.
The right-back starred for United in the 2019-20 Premier League season, before it was suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Wan-Bissaka has become one of the most promising young players in English football, but admits he lacked discipline when he was a youth prospect, resulting in his dad having to take drastic action.
Wan-Bissaka told The Sun: ‘I loved matches but I wasn’t really enjoying training. I came home from school one time and my friends were out at the green. It was time to leave for training and I just didn’t want to leave them. He ran and chased me until I went!
‘It’s funny to look back at now. But I understand why he did it. I’ll never forget that.’
Wan-Bissaka is close to his family, with his father Ambrose having fled the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo in 1997 to bring his family to London, and the footballer has looked to give something back amid the turmoil caused by coronavirus.
The 22-year-old has donated £10,000 worth of medical equipment, including 20,000 protective gloves for health workers, to be sent to Kinshasa to help fight the virus in the central African nation.
He said: ‘I’m fortunate. There are those who aren’t able to protect themselves as well or have access to certain things during this crisis. It’s been great to give back. I know it’s not easy out there for them so it’s only right for me to help.’
Back in Manchester, Wan-Bissaka has quickly settled in at Old Trafford as a key first team player, and puts that down to a good atmosphere in the dressing room under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
He said: ‘We all get along. I didn’t expect it. I thought because I was new, not many would engage with me, but as soon as I stepped in, everyone wanted to help me, showed me around, had conversations with me. They made me comfortable.
‘The manager’s intentions have been to build this squad together and you can see the difference after the New Year. Every game we were getting better.’
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