We are genuinely surprised by Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s choice.
Only because he’s never struggled to deal with Raheem Sterling, and always seems to have the Man City winger buried in his pocket.
Asked to name the ‘toughest opponent’ he’s face since joining Manchester United, Wan-Bissaka told the official Man Utd website: “I’d say Raheem Sterling; those are the battles I’ve enjoyed the most.
“He keeps going, just keeps on coming at you. Doesn’t matter if he doesn’t get past you in one challenge, he keeps coming back for more every time.
“That’s what I like. I’ve been happy with my performances in both league derbies and the results both times were just what we needed.
“The second one was just before lockdown, that was an incredible afternoon. We were prepared for that game and we showed that as a team on the pitch.
“When Scott [McTominay] scored the second goal, the whole stadium just went off and you could see what it meant to everyone.”
Forgive us if we’re wrong, but I honestly think Wan-Bissaka answered that question as if he was talking about his favourite opponent — rather than most difficult to come up against.
That said, no-one has given him a hard time in the league this season and he’s a terrific defender.
But maybe when facing Sterling, Wan-Bissaka prepares for the game differently and enjoys facing the best players because they keep him waiting for more, like a thrill of some sort.
Wan-Bissaka is rated as one of the best tacklers in England and was asked how he became so good at the trait by a United fan.
He said: “I want to say I worked on it, but at first I think it was just natural.
“Even when I was an attacker coming up at Palace, my tackling was noticed then too.
“I don’t think I really knew how good I was at it until I started taking it seriously. These days I work on it a lot more!”
Wan-Bissaka has been a superb signing for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and without him we’d still be unsure about a right-back at United.
It’s his role long-term.
We also enjoyed this part of Wan-Bissaka’s blog on the official site: “My brother is a big help for me with my football work… as a defender it’s amazing to have an attacker living with me during lockdown. It means I get to spend a lot of my days just tackling him!”
We wonder where his brother ranks in Wan-Bissaka’s list of toughest opponents!
Listen to this week’s podcast – Strettycast is also available on Apple Podcasts.