Presenter Mark Goldbridge has claimed that Erik ten Hag sent a transfer message regarding Aaron Wan-Bissaka after he opted to play Victor Lindelof at right-back for Manchester United in midweek.
Late on in the summer transfer market, the Red Devils seemed to be keen on signing a new right-back, with Ten Hag supposedly chasing Sergino Dest.
However, while the American was viewed by the club’s manager as a better fit for his style than Wan-Bissaka, United football director John Murtough ‘backed the England international’, who remained at the club while Dest moved to Milan (via The Athletic).
In light of that, during the club’s most recent match – a 1-0 loss at home against Real Sociedad – Ten Hag opted to play Lindelof at right-back in the second half when Lisandro Martinez came on for Diogo Dalot, leaving Wan-Bissaka on the bench.
While speaking about the whole situation on The United Stand, Goldbridge said it was potentially a ‘message’ to Murtough after the transfer decision.
He explained: “In that particular story, I would side with Ten Hag. I think if he doesn’t see something in Wan Bissaka, Wan-Bissaka should have been moved on.
“And if John Murtough’s saying, ‘we’re not moving him on, I’m backing him to do well at United’, that’s a dangerous thing to do.
“Because look what happened against Sociedad the other night. Wan Bissaka was on the bench and he brings on Lindelof over a right-back, and Lindelof really got rinsed at right-back.
“So, you know, is that a message from Ten Hag that, ‘look, you’ve made me keep Wan Bissaka, I don’t really want to use him’? So they should have moved him on.”
TIF Thoughts on Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Manchester United…
While Lindelof has played at right-back on occasion throughout his career, he is primarily a centre-back and has even played in midfield on more occasions than on the right side of the defence (as per Transfermarkt).
With that in mind, it certainly was an odd call from Ten Hag to play him there instead of natural full-back Wan Bissaka. Up to this stage of the season, the Englishman has played just four minutes of football, which came in one single Premier League appearance.
Taking all that into account, it doesn’t seem as if he is in his manager’s plans and Ten Hag may well be trying to prove this to Murtough by completely freezing him out of the team. If that is the case, it’s certainly bold from the Dutchman to challenge the club executive in such a way.