One of the hallmarks of how good a club Crystal Palace is to play for comes from the number of players who return. The tremendous fanbase mixed with the excellent area and the Premier League possibility makes Palace quite an attractive place to play. Many players have gone to other clubs and soon returned, happier with the surroundings they find in South London. The likes of Nathaniel Clyne and Wilfried Zaha have left the club only to return in the future. This summer could see another academy kid returning.
We are not sure if you have noticed, but Manchester United appear to be a bit of a rabble. The ‘Red Devils’ have endured a weird few seasons, and have more or less wasted much of the talent that plays in their first XI. Few players fit that description more than Aaron Wan-Bissaka. Go back to the day that AWB moved on from the club, and he was arguably the best young full-back outside of Trent Alexander Arnold – at least in England.
Fast forward to now, and the likes of Reece James has come on the scene to push AWB further down the line. Funnily enough, Palace tried to sign James as the replacement for the United full-back but Chelsea refused to sell. Given the development of James since, seeing him in a Palace shirt is now for FIFA career mode saves. AWB, though, has barely improved at all – in fact, he has arguably regressed.
Though never the most exciting going forward, he was a fine defender in a Palace shirt. Now, he looks far less assured defensively and even less comfortable going forward. Would bringing him back to the club be a wise choice, or is it a reclamation project the club would do without?
Should Palace sign back Aaron Wan-Bissaka?
Given his affiliation with the club and his obvious potential, it would seem a no-brainer to say yes. Also, it would be unfair to point to his struggles at Old Trafford too much. When players as talented as Paul Pogba have arguably stagnated in Manchester, it cannot be down to just the player. However, for Palace, the fee involved and the wages paid would mean that AWB would need to be playing at a high level ASAP.
The club cannot afford passengers or to be patient with the kind of marquee costing deals that it would take to land him. They would need a player who is confident, capable, and ready to improve on both sides of his game. Given the stagnation witnessed up north, can Palace and its fans really be sure that this would be the case?
While there is a romance associated with Palace that makes players return, not every ex-player should return. Given the likely cost involved and the fact there is no guarantee that the wing-back can return to his previous form that got him sold in the first place, it would be a hard signing to guarantee success from. While every transfer is a gamble, this could be one gamble too many in what has to be a near-perfect summer.