Erik ten Hag said it was “clear” that Aaron Wan-Bissaka has a future at Manchester United following the right-back’s first start of the season on Wednesday.
Wan-Bissaka entered the starting line-up, with Diogo Dalot unavailable, as United returned to action after the World Cup with a Carabao Cup fourth-round draw against Burnley at Old Trafford.
And he netted the opener in a 2-0 win, stretching to connect with Bruno Fernandes’ pass and start Christian Eriksen in the 27th minute.
The 25-year-old defender, who has struggled with injury and illness, has only featured once before this season, as a late substitute in August.
United boss Ten Hag was asked after the Burnley game if Wan-Bissaka had a future in his team, and he replied: “It’s clear he has a future.
“He’s had some good years here at Man United, but since the start of the season he’s had a lot of illnesses and injuries.
“Upon the restart he’s fit, he’s been able to train with the team, and you see him improving. His fitness level is improving, his performance level is improving and I’m really happy with his performance (against Burnley).
“If you then give an assist, especially the way he gave an assist, his movement at the right time, the timing, the nice pass of course from Bruno, but the assist is brilliant… So I’m happy with his performance, he did it well.”
In what was also their first game since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from the club, United doubled their advantage 12 minutes into the second half thanks to an excellent solo effort from Marcus Rashford, who was able to burst with the ball from his own half to the visitors. ‘, where he drilled it in front of Bailey Peacock-Farrell.
Championship table players Burnley, led by former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, repeatedly threatened – and nearly capitalized on a few mistakes by United goalkeeper Martin Dubravka – but couldn’t cause an upset.
Rashford, Eriksen and Fernandes were among five players who had featured in the World Cup that Ten Hag named in a strong starting line-up showing four changes from United’s last outing, the 2-1 Premier League win at Fulham on November 13.
Tyrell Malacia was another, with Casemiro, used as a centre-back in the absence of World Cup finalists Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane, and Harry Maguire, who was ill. Luke Shaw, Antony and Fred all came off the bench in the second half.
Ten Hag said he was happy with the display, while stressing the need for more when United resume their league campaign by hosting Nottingham Forest on Tuesday.
The Dutchman, whose side are fifth in the league, said: “It’s always difficult after an international break, and especially when they haven’t played together for five weeks. I don’t think this team has ever played together than we put on the pitch (against Burnley).
“But they play according to our football principles and I’m happy with the performance, and of course with the victory. We scored two goals, I think we have to score a lot more goals, a clean sheet, even if we have them also created good chances, I would say.
“But we know that from this moment on we have to step up, we have to do better because we have big ambitions. You have to do better against Forest, that’s clear.