The tribal nature of football means it will soon become impossible for us to appreciate them both.
Man United’s tiresome pursuit of Aaron Wan-Bissaka is finally over after a fee of £50million was agreed with Crystal Palace.
The 21-year-old will march straight into the first-team at Old Trafford – replacing Antonio Valencia and relegating Ashley Young to the bench as he takes up the right-back mantle.
Wan-Bissaka’s big-money move will inevitably act as the catalyst for a fierce debate that will rage on for many years.
With the 21-year-old set to swap south London for Liverpool’s fiercest rivals, the comparisons that are already made between AWB and Trent Alexander-Arnold will intensify to almost insufferable levels.
Two young English right-backs playing for bitter adversaries is the perfect setting for football’s latest p**sing contest to begin – think the BTEC version of Cristiano Ronaldo vs Lionel Messi.
Both sets of fans will psychoanalyse the opposing right-back to the nth degree, conveniently failing to notice the good bits while making sure to ridicule their mistakes.
Twitter threads breaking down their respective stats will be aplenty and polls asking who is the better player will dominate your timeline whenever one puts in a better performance than the other.
There are rare occasions when football transcends into an individual sport as fans are forced to nail their colours to the mast and back one player over their direct rival, in some cases showing greater support for an individual than their club altogether.
Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard are two whose successes still can’t be mentioned without reference to the other, with very few fans able to appreciate one without devaluing the other in the same sentence.
This pettiness has even spilled over into their managerial careers – everyone is still either ‘Team Lampard’ or ‘Team Gerrard.’
The volatile nature of the modern football fan will no doubt mutate our opinions of AWB and TAA into something similar.
Man United and Liverpool Twitter will have a drastic shift towards one-upmanship from next season as both fanbases attempt to prove their man is better than the other, to a point where club rivalry could even come second.
Despite being one-year older than his Merseyside counterpart, it’s fair to say that AWB has significant ground to make up on Trent both at club and international level.
TAA already has a Champions League to his name and, at the age of 20, has cemented himself in Gareth Southgate’s future England plans.
With his impending move to Old Trafford, Wan-Bissaka has the chance to prove himself at a top-six club and is in a better position to close the gap on his rival both domestically and for England.
While English football should revel in the fact that we are blessed with two of the world’s most promising right-backs, camps supporting either Wan-Bissaka or Alexander-Arnold will inevitably form.
Prepare yourself for what will become one of the most tiresome subplots of the season.
Seconds out, round one.
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