Bissaka offered chance to switch allegiance to DR Congo

Manchester United defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka has received an invitation to represent the Democratic Republic of Congo at international level, 90min can confirm.

Despite at times in his career being considered the best right-back in the Premier League, which is why United agreed a £50m transfer from Crystal Palace in 2019, Wan-Bissaka has the dubious honour of being the world’s most expensive uncapped player.

That title was bestowed on the right-back when £75m Chelsea defender Wesley Fofana played 90 minutes for France against Gilbraltar in June. Marc Cucurella (£62m) playing once for Spain in 2021 and Romeo Lavia’s (£58m) Belgium debut earlier this year have pushed Wan-Bissaka to the top.

Croydon-born Wan-Bissaka represented England at Under-20 and Under-21 levels earlier in his career and was called up to the senior ranks by manager Gareth Southgate for the first international break of the 2019/20 season, only for injury to force his withdrawal from the group.

In the years since, right-back has become arguably England’s most competitive posititon, with Kyle Walker, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier and Reece James all vying for the shirt. Wan-Bissaka has also suffered with injuries and inconsistent form that have limited his game time at club level.

Although English by birth, Wan-Bissaka has Congolese family heritage that makes him eligible for DR Congo. He represented the country’s Under-20 side when he was just 17 and, at the time, seemed determined that it would be his long-term international choice.

Asked back then if he would betray DRC for England, Wan-Bissaka told ActualitesdesLeopards: “Never, I will accept the country where I come from and a whole big family is there. Every player now is thinking for his future, I believe my future is within the DR Congo national team.”

Yet it is something he has flip-flopped on over time, declaring four years later in 2019: “The aim is England. I am happy playing with England [at junior level] and representing England.”

With DR Congo now back on the table ahead of their participation at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations in January and February, 90min understands that Wan-Bissaka is considering his options once more. Should he switch allegiance and be included in the tournament squad, he could miss at least four United games at a crucial period. Andre Onana and Hannibal Mejbri are in a similar boat.

As well as his international situation, Wan-Bissaka’s club future is also unclear. The 25-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and 90min understands that the United hierarchy are yet to confirm to him whether or not they will trigger a 12-month extension clause. Victor Lindelof is in the same situation, with both players commanding sizeable salaries and not guaranteed starters.

What we know

  • Aaron Wan-Bissaka uncapped by England at senior international level
  • Man Utd defender can play for DR Congo through his family heritage
  • Club future also unclear amid expiring contract & option uncertainty.

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