When Erik ten Hag took over Manchester United, the right-back position was faced with the most uncertainty.
Fast forward one year, and it looks like the most secure position in the current squad with two quality options competing for starting honours.
The Mirror reports that this has prompted a change in transfer strategy for United, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka soon to follow in Diogo Dalot’s footsteps by getting his contract extended.
United have long been linked with Denzel Dumfries, Ten Hag’s fellow countryman as they sought to upgrade the right-back position with a player who fit his style of play. Now they have moved on from him.
However, last season, Diogo Dalot put in some great performances to secure his United future by signing a new contract.
Then, Wan-Bissaka came in from the cold post the winter World Cup to show an improved attacking game and forced his way into the first-team picture again.
His stock has risen to such an extent that in the current pre-season, he has become the first-choice right-back over Dalot.
With his contract expiring in 2024, United are likely to trigger the option to extend his deal by a year, making it run til 2025.
The club can then engage in extension negotiations with the defensive maestro with a more secure position in the market.
It is a far cry from last summer, and even January 2023, when Wan-Bissaka was one of the players on the chopping block.
The right-back position is firm evidence of how flexible Ten Hag can be when it comes to his mind being changed.
This pivot in transfer strategy brought about by the star-turn of two out-of-favour options is a testament to the players’ willingness to improve and the coaching staff’s ability to maximise their talent.
It might have saved the club north of £30 million in the transfer market.